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New community drug and alcohol services for adults from January 2017


A new community drug and alcohol service to help vulnerable people across Gloucestershire will be discussed by cabinet next week.

Gloucestershire County Council is seeking permission to start tendering for a new contract. The current contract, which is due to expire on 31st December 2016, is held by Turning Point.

It is proposed that the county council commissions a community drug and alcohol recovery service that is seen as a complete service for individuals, professionals, organisations and bodies who have concerns around substance misuse.

The new service will seek to continue to ensure that people with alcohol and drug problems in the county have access to responsive and effective recovery services that reduce the harm caused by alcohol and drugs.

The new contract would not fundamentally change the service from 2017, but would continue to evolve and progress the existing good service provided.

The council wants to build on improvements to date such as better integration across health, social care and criminal justice; closer working with children's services; and a greater emphasis on achieving and sustaining recovery.

A 12-week public consultation exercise ran between 15th December 2015 and 8th March 2016, seeking views on four key principles underpinning proposals for the future shape of the drug and alcohol service. The consultation also sought feedback on what makes it easy or difficult to access the service.

Of 226 people who answered, 97 per cent agreed that the service should proactively encourage more people with alcohol issues to seek help and support.

Eighty-eight per cent agreed that the service should provide early interventions that divert low risk individuals from the need for formal treatment, while 82 per cent agreed that dedicated drug and alcohol workers should be located within children's social care teams.

There was also 94 per cent of responders who agreed that the service should be more community-focused.

The community drug and alcohol recovery service forms part of a wider programme of activity to reduce drug and alcohol related harm to individuals and families, as well as to the wider community.

The proposal is to find an organisation that can provide the services for the next five years.

Sarah Scott, director of public health, said: "I am very keen to make sure we have a drug and alcohol service that continues to reach people across the county most in need of this support and those affected by substance misuse.

"I hope that we have a competitive tendering process in which we can find a provider who will offer the best service we can provide."

If cabinet agree to start the tender, the new contract will be in place by January 2017.

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