The independent final evaluation report on the Drug Systems Change pilot programme has been published.
The programme, funded jointly by the Department of Health and the Home Office, ran from 2009-2011. The aim was to test whether local drug and alcohol treatment partnerships could tailor services better, in response to local needs, if they were allowed more flexibility in how they used the range of funding streams available to them and were not constrained by central targets.
The 7 pilot sites investigated how they could redesign the commissioning and delivery of drug treatment and related social provision, both in prison and in community settings, adopting more user-led, outcome-focused approaches, and so improving the outcomes achieved by their service users.
A collaboration led by NatCen (National Centre for Social Research) was commissioned to evaluate the pilots.
Chris Heffer, Deputy Director, Alcohol and Drugs, at the Department of Health, said: ‘with their focus on local innovation, recovery and continuity of care, the work undertaken by the 7 pilot sites fits well with current priorities.
The changes in practice they achieved required months of hard work and a good deal of intensive partnership collaboration.’
The evaluation report highlights:
- the challenges of system redesign
- the importance of partnership working in affecting change
- lessons in enhancing continuity of care
- implementing single points of assessment and personalised treatment budgets
Sally Richards, Deputy Director, Reducing Reoffending at the Home Office said: ‘we are extremely grateful to all the pilot sites involved in the Systems Change Pilot programme for putting in this hard work.’