Dave, 54, was admitted to hospital for surgical drainage of his dangerously infected leg and hand. He was alcohol dependent and had been prescribed methadone, but was still using intravenous drugs. Dave finds it hard to engage with community services, and had no GP, his health had spiralled. 

During treatment he was in a great deal of pain. The hospital painkillers were ineffective because of his high opiate tolerance, caused by years of drug use. This caused friction with ward staff, some of whom assumed he was ‘drug seeking’. The Pathway team acted as liaison between Dave, the ward staff, the pain team and the drug treatment team to ensure adequate pain relief. 

Once his pain was under control, Dave stopped using street drugs and alcohol. With his permission, Pathway invited a community drug worker into hospital to meet with him and discuss a possible rehabilitation space. 

Dave eventually decided against rehab because he was afraid of bringing up bad memories. Instead, Pathway helped him to register with a local GP for future healthcare and he retained links to the community drug worker he had met. When he left hospital the Pathway team arranged for him to collect his methadone and analgesia daily, from a location near his hostel, to minimise the risk of him relapsing.

Although Dave still struggles, he remained out of hospital for a year after discharge.