New ways to access drugs and alcohol support
From January next year, a new drugs and alcohol service will be launched in Gloucestershire.
Gloucestershire County Council has carried out a review of its public health services for the first time since they were transferred from the NHS in 2013. This is to ensure they are working well to help Gloucestershire people stay healthy and active and be more involved in their communities.
As part of this review, social care and health charity CGL (change, grow, live) have been awarded the contract to provide drugs and alcohol support for five years, from January 2017. The new service will offer support right across the county, making it easier for people to get the help they need.
The council carried out a 12 week consultation earlier in the year to ask for views about the future of the drugs and alcohol service. Among the questions were how to make it easier to get access to help, and how we could make the service more effective.
The vast majority (97%) of people responding, including people who already get help from the service, said that we should encourage more people to seek help and there should be more community-focused support.
Under the new contract, people will have a wider choice of locations and times to access services, which is especially important for people who need help with jobs and families.
The service's fixed hubs will be located in Cheltenham, Stroud and Gloucester, where more people (over three quarters) access the service. Specialist workers will run sessions and deliver outreach at partner sites including Lloyds pharmacies, other community locations and in people's homes right across the county.
CGL will work closely with partners, including Barnardo's and Young Gloucestershire, to help more young people between 18 and 24. Acting early to give young adults the specialist help they need is a key priority for the council.
The new contract will also provide extra support for alcohol addiction in the county. The service will work closely with Gloucestershire hospitals and family social workers.
Cllr Andrew Gravells, cabinet member for public health, said: "This is an essential service that will help provide vulnerable people struggling with drugs and alcohol misuse the support they need.
"Hundreds of people across Gloucestershire struggle with alcohol and drug problems - and this contract will make it easier for them to get the help they need, in more places across Gloucestershire, at a time to suit them.
"I'm really pleased we can offer extra help to young adults in particular - giving them the help they need to get clean, stay clean and get on with their lives."
Charity Easton, Director at CGL (change, grow, live) said: "We are extremely pleased that we have been awarded the Gloucestershire contract and we will work with our service users and partners to ensure a high quality, accessible and holistic service for the people of Gloucestershire.
"We are delighted to have the opportunity to work with such an able and expert group of partners, to ensure the best provision we can across the country.
"Our ambition is for sustained recovery, which is visible and tangible for individuals from the outset."