Evan Howle

Substance Misuse Nurse, Aspire Drug and Alcohol Services, Doncaster

I am currently employed in a drug and alcohol service, working within the physical health nursing team. Primarily, I work with people with physical health comorbidities and alcohol dependency working towards an inpatient/community detox. As a learning disability nurse in the team, I also support anyone with a learning disability and/or Autism, or unmet mental health needs who is referred to services. The work I undertake involves keyworker sessions, supporting people’s recovery with psychosocial interventions, and building people’s recovery capital. I also support the physical health clinics, delivering vaccinations, undertaking blood tests, blood borne virus tests and delivering health information. I work from a community clinic base, but also in people’s own homes where appropriate.

I am always looking for ways to improve my own practice, those around me and how to make services more adaptable and responsive to their needs. I would like to take the knowledge and skills I learn from the programme to develop my leadership skills further, and work to implement practices that make substance misuse services more accessible for people with a learning disability. Further to this, I would like to use the opportunity to increase my knowledge base, and to continue and develop relationships with other professionals/services to ensure the unique needs of people with a learning disability are at the forefront. In the short time I have worked as a nurse, I have seen that the understanding of addiction for people with a learning disability and/or Autism has progressed little in a number of years, and I would like to work towards changing that.