01 July 2013

Ashfield prison joins AWP's criminal justice portfolio

The ability to deploy an experienced, integrated, multi-disciplinary team at short notice means that from 1 July, Specialised Drugs and Alcohol Services (SDAS) is adding South Gloucestershire's Ashfield prison to its criminal justice portfolio.

The award of this contract, for a prison where we have historical links, also reflects the high regard in which our prison drugs service is held in South Gloucestershire.

Until the government announced earlier this year its decision to turn Ashfield into a Category C adult male prison, it had been home to a young offenders' institute.

Serco, which runs the prison, announced earlier this month that the new service would begin on 1 July and we were asked if we could provide a comprehensive service covering mental health, learning disabilities, substance misuse, psychosocial interventions as well as clinical prescribing.

Led by interim SDAS Managing Director Martin McLean, a new model was developed to deliver this multi-disciplinary service. A 12 strong team, consisting of experienced members of SDAS and colleagues transferred (under TUPE*) from Serco has been assembled to deliver this innovative service.

Clinical director for SDAS Tim Williams said: "This is really good news and a great opportunity to deliver a specialist service via a new integrated model. It is another example of our flexibility and capability to deliver expertise in a number of specialist areas helping us to win new work.

"May I thank everyone who helped us respond positively to this request and contributed to the design and delivery of a completely new and innovative service in less than six weeks."

Tim said it was likely that having established the service in Ashfield, it would be competitively tendered in 2014 and that we would be a strong participant in that tender process.

*TUPE: Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment)

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