K63 Dr Carmel Clancy

The role of the addictions nurse specialist: Is it disappearing? A view from the UK frontline

Dr Carmel Clancy

Wednesday, October 21st, 2020  |  2:00 pm EST


Addictions nursing practice and care has a rich history since the advent of formal services for the treatment of substance use disorders, yet there is still no universally agreed role definition, standard scope of practice, or certification process in the UK. Despite multiple accounts of how nurses innovated, broke down barriers, and advanced the treatment and recovery agenda, the value of the addictions nurse specialist role has in recent times been threaten, as NHS addiction services are decommissioned, or transferred into non-traditional non-statutory sectors. This presentation will discuss the challenges currently facing addictions nurses as they seek to identify, protect, and advocate for their place within the pull and push of policy and structural changes. The authors will present highlights from a qualitative survey of ‘expert addiction nurses’ on factors which may have accounted for how addiction nursing is currently perceived, and invite participants to engage in a wider piece of work that is currently exploring the experience of nurses in relation to their preparation and engagement in working with problematic substance use in their respective countries.


Dr Carmel Clancy, PhD, RN, ICAPII

Professor of Addictions and Mental Health and Head of School, School of Health and Education at Middlesex University London.

Dr Betsy Thom, PhD

Professor of Health Policy at Middlesex University where she is a co-director of the Drugs and Alcohol Research Centre.

Dr Fizz Annand, PhD, MSc

Qualified as a social worker in 1992, gained a Diploma in Drug and Alcohol Studies at the Centre for Drugs and Health Behaviour, Imperial College, completed her MSc in Drug use; evidence based policy and intervention at Imperial College in 2005, authoring a research dissertation on the development and implementation of crack house closure legislation, and gained her Phd with Middlesex University was gained in 2014. The research project was: ‘Developing and delivering local level partnership schemes with the alcohol trade: A governmental analysis’.

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