What has happened over the last three years

Considerable effort has gone into making services more accessible to clients. Services are ‘open access’, meaning that anyone who wishes to can walk into treatment services and have their needs assessed on that day. The reconfiguration of services has removed the lengthy waiting times that used to exist for some elements of treatment. Services are now more attractive to potential clients, and clients are therefore more inclined to remain in treatment.

A ‘care co-ordination’ model has been introduced, ensuring that each client has a named worker to support them through the length of their treatment journey. This worker is responsible for any assertive outreach with the client, should the client begin to disengage with services. The improved outcomes seen in the number of opiate users successfully completing treatment can be linked to this. Uptake of harm reduction interventions (Hepatitis B vaccinations and Hepatitis C testing) are considerably higher than national figures, and reflect the hard work of treatment providers to engage with clients.

The fall in drug-related deaths can, in part, be attributed to the extensive roll out of take home naloxone, and the provision of overdose and first aid training which has been instrumental in increasing service user and staff knowledge on how to support someone who may be overdosing. 

Within the substance misuse field there has been a renewed emphasis on implementing the recovery model and the Recovery ‘Golden Thread’ Implementation Group ensures recovery runs through every aspect of existing service delivery.