‘Opioid Substitution Therapy in Scotland’

Opioid Substitution Therapy in Scotland: Delivering evidence-based practice; Responding to the national overdose deaths emergency

Date: Wednesday 6th November 2019 / 10:00-16:00
Location: Hilton Edinburgh Carlton, 19 North Bridge Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1SD
Cost: £110 (Non-member rate) / £90 (SDF, RCN and RPS (Scotland) members)

Booking is essential – click here to secure your place via online booking form
Click here to download a MS Word version of the booking form
Click here to download Programme & Booking Form

This Scottish Drugs Forum conference will be delivered in partnership with Royal College of Nursing Scotland and The Royal Pharmaceutical Society in Scotland.

In Scotland over the last 30 years, opioid substitution therapy (OST) has undergone significant changes. However, it has been subject to scrutiny and criticism despite the long-standing and international evidence base for its effectiveness. Services have developed in different ways and there has been a divergence in practice across Scotland. The drivers for divergence has their roots in national and local policies, organisational structures, budgets and the relationships between services and professions. This has meant that practice has often strayed from where the evidence may have taken us.

This conference seeks to take stock of where we are now and build a consensus as to how services might be configured in the future to better meets the needs of an increasingly vulnerable population of people with drug problems, many of whom also have significant physical and mental health issues.

The conference dares to explore what might happen if we took our lead from Rights, Respect and Recovery – Scotland’s new drug strategy – and developed services based on the clear evidence of what health services can do to address a public health crisis. As ever, lives are at stake, as is Scotland’s reputation for policy and practice based on reason, compassion and evidence.

This conference will explore:

  • The aims of OST in the context of the national overdose deaths emergency
  • OST service quality –
    • service accessibility and retention
    • assertive outreach
    • same day prescribing of OST
    • options in OST
    • prescribing benzodiazepines alongside OST
    • trauma and psychologically informed environments
    • person centred practice
    • addressing sub-optimal dosing
    • models of care including GP, nurse and pharmacist prescribing


10:00 – Introduction from the Conference Chair – Dr Duncan McCormack, Public Health Consultant, NHS Lothian

10:10 – The role of OST in Scotland, challenges and opportunities – Dr John Budd, Edinburgh Access Practice

10:30 – Improving Practice in OST delivery – Daniel Ahmed, Foundations Health Care, Middlesborough

11:00 – Optimal Prescribing and patient choice in prescribing options – Dr Katie Browne, Medical Officer, Glasgow Alcohol & Drug Recovery Services

11.20 – Tea/Coffee

11:40 – Heroin Assisted Treatment in Glasgow – Carole Hunter, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde

12:00 – Non-medical Prescribing in Practice: NHSGGC Alcohol & Drug Services Vision for 2020 –Mary Clare Madden / Senior Clinical Pharmacist & Prescriber

12:20 – Emerging practice in same day prescribing

A nurse led response in Midlothian –Tracey Clusker

A pharmacy led practice in Glasgow – Richard Lowrie and Dr Laura Sills

13:00 – Lunch

14:00 –  Dundee Drug Commission: key findings re OST delivery – Andy Perkins, Dundee Delivery Commission

14:20 –  The living experience of being on OST – Jason Wallace, Scottish Drugs Forum

14:40 – Parallel Session

1. Trauma informed OST practice – Dr Joe Tay
Assertive outreach and retention in OST – Richard Lowrie
Benzodiazepine prescribing alongside OST – Dr John Budd
The role of the voluntary sector in delivering OST – Dr Prun Bijral, CGL

15:40 – Discussion, next steps and Chair’s concluding comments

16:00 – Close

Booking is essential – click here to secure your place