- Professor David Nutt on Welcome to the Drug Strategy blog!
- Paul Taylor on Welcome to the Drug Strategy blog!
- Hester Brown on Welcome to the Drug Strategy blog!
- Sheryl Dago, service manager for Addaction Derby on A further update from David Oliver
- John Taylor on Guest Post from Nigel Kirby - Head of Drugs Intelligence (SOCA)
@ukhomeoffice on Twitter
Welcome to the Drug Strategy blog!
Posted on March 7, 2011 12:01
As the Home Office Minister with responsibility for drugs and alcohol, I’m delighted to be launching this blog pilot and to invite your comments as key delivery partners.
The new strategy is aimed at supporting and enabling those dependent on drugs and alcohol to recover fully, reducing the demand for drugs and taking an uncompromising drive to crack down on those involved in the drugs trade.
It also addresses the issue of so-called "legal highs" through the development of temporary banning orders, improving the forensic analytical capability to detect new psychoactive substances and establishing an effective forensic early warning system.
As we shift power and accountability to local areas to tackle the damage that drugs and alcohol dependence cause our communities, we really want to hear from you, on your challenges and successes in achieving the ambitions of the strategy.
I know you’ll be keen to be updated by us too, particularly on centrally led areas of strategy delivery as they begin to get underway.
For example, there has understandably been considerable interest in the Payment by Results (PbR) pilots for drugs recovery that are being led by the Department of Health. Sixteen local areas in England were short-listed as potential pilot sites, twelve of whom submitted full proposals last week. You can see the list of partnerships that have chosen to go to full proposal stage at the bottom of this page. Next month the successful pilot sites will start work with the PbR project team to begin co-designing the detail of the pilots, with the aim that they are up and running from October 2011.
I’m aware there is some concern being expressed about the process of setting up the PbR pilots, primarily a misconception that we are deliberately excluding providers from being considered as part of the pilots. This is not the case. Local partnerships hold the budgets and so must be in charge of creating their own offer to ensure it meets local needs. That is why we are working through these partnerships whilst recognising the absolute need to draw upon the expertise of providers, commissioners and others in the sector.
I know some of you are worried that local partnerships will not change their commissioning to support the new strategy’s greater ambition for recovery. Let me make it clear, as we did in the strategy, that to build a recovery focussed system, local areas will need to jointly commission services that deliver "end to end" support. Close links will need to be built between community, in-patient and residential treatment and rehabilitation providers, who in turn will need to forge close links with aftercare services.
There are clear indications that some areas are already developing this approach, in order to deliver recovery outcomes. For example David Oliver, the Head of Drugs and Alcohol at the Home Office, visited Liverpool recently and saw a service which has refocused its efforts from a harm minimisation to a recovery approach.
I’ve asked David to take forward the blog over the next two weeks. Whilst he won’t be able to acknowledge every comment personally, he will respond regularly on the main themes arising from your comments, so please do get involved.
Finally, you will remember that we sought the views of those involved in the drugs sector to support the development of the new drug strategy. A big thank you to those of you responded. The publication of the strategy established the framework to deliver our ambitions to restrict supply, reduce demand and build recovery. As we move forward into implementation, I hope that the blog will develop as a useful way to continue to engage with you. It will run initially for two weeks and then be evaluated to see if this is a helpful way to share views and ideas, successes and challenges.
I look forward to reading your comments.
Potential PbR pilot areas: Lincolnshire, Enfield, Middlesbrough, Lancashire, Stockport, Wigan, Wirral, Oxfordshire, Surrey, Kent, Wakefield and Bracknell Forest.