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Home > Guidance for Alcohol and Drug services in Northern Ireland to best deliver treatment and care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Northern Ireland. Department of Health. (2020) Guidance for Alcohol and Drug services in Northern Ireland to best deliver treatment and care during the COVID-19 pandemic. Belfast: Department of Health.

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Within Northern Ireland, HSCB directed a stand-down of community pharmacy supervised consumption arrangements for opioid substitution treatment on the 18 March 2020. Around that same time, addiction services in Northern Ireland were also making massive changes to their working practice, moving mainly to assessment and reviews by telephone or videolinks. The three specialist inpatient addictions units based in Holywell Hospital, Downshire Hospital and Tyrone and Fermanagh Hospital were also closed to admissions, as indeed were the alcohol and drug residential units based at Carlisle House Belfast and Northlands Centre Derry. All of these units use group work as a major part of the treatment programme, making it very difficult or impossible to observe social distancing and hence increasing the risk of COVID-19 infection to both patients and staff.

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