01 July 2013

Developing new drug and alcohol services for Bristol

People in Bristol who are tackling drug and alcohol problems are set to benefit from new services which have been designed to join up treatment and support more effectively.

Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust's Specialist Drug and Alcohol Service (SDAS), Bristol Drugs Project (Bdp) and St Mungo's have been successful in tendering to deliver in partnership three elements of the new drug and alcohol service, commissioned by Safer Bristol of Bristol City Council.

SDAS, Bdp and St Mungo's will focus on Engagement (St Mungo's), Change (SDAS) and Completion (Bdp) while the other two elements, housing and support, will be delivered respectively by  Addiction Recovery Agency and Developing Health and Independence (DHI).

Safer Bristol asked providers to propose a new design for a treatment system that would best meet the needs of people in Bristol. They asked that treatment, support and housing will be easier to access and more effective in helping people achieve sustained recovery from problematic drug or alcohol use.   This will deliver positive outcomes for communities in Bristol, reducing drug-related crime and ill health. It will also ensure support for families and carers of people with drug and alcohol problems.

All organisations successful in the tender will adopt the new outcome focused treatment model ROIS (Recovery Orientated Integrated System), working together to put service users at its heart.

Bristol-based clinical director for SDAS, Dr Tim Williams said: "I am delighted that the commissioners at Bristol City Council have decided to award this contract to us.  It shows that they value quality NHS care and it demonstrates our success in building a respected, dynamic and responsive service."

Dr Williams said that the SDAS team will work closely with all providers in the city over the coming months to ensure the smoothest transition to the new set up and to ensure that the people of Bristol will benefit from the provision of quality, recovery focused, seamless, drug and alcohol treatment.

"We are totally committed to increasing recovery for service users in Bristol and are passionate in our work with all parties in Bristol to achieve this goal," he added.

Bdp set up the city's first services to help people with drug and alcohol problems and brings over 27 years' experience to the new ROIS, This includes a vibrant volunteer cohort numbering over 100 people each year -  many of whom have their own history of drug or alcohol problems.

Maggie Telfer OBE, BDP's Chief Executive said: "Our vision is all about 'maximising people's potential' and these new services will do just that.  They will give more people more opportunities to get their lives back on track - entering or returning to the world of training and work and playing a positive part in the life of their communities."

St Mungo's manages a mix of hostels and supported housing across Bristol as well as the Compass Centre in Stokes Croft, offering emergency support to rough sleepers as well as access to health and skills opportunities. The Compass Centre is also a base for St Mungo's innovative Recovery College, helping people be inspired to learn and share skills as they move on with their lives.

Mike McCall, St Mungo's Executive Director of Operations, said: "People experiencing difficulties with drugs and alcohol need personalised support to introduce them to services offering the right help at the right time. Our St Mungo's approach is all about recovery and we are committed to providing an integrated treatment system, alongside the other successful lead providers in Bristol."

Peter Walker Chief Executive of the Addiction Recovery Agency said:  "Having somewhere safe to live is key to achieving good treatment outcomes and the Addiction Recovery Agency looks forward to being part of the new treatment partnership in Bristol to deliver a recovery based system of treatment and support  that the  city can be proud of."

DHI has been a provider of drug and alcohol, family and housing support services for many years in neighbouring communities, with a strong track record in involving service users to strengthen service delivery. Rosie Phillips, DHI's Chief Executive Officer, said: "We look forward to working with our new partners and The Care Forum who will be working with us in the development of this unique new service.

"An important part of our inclusive service will promote participation, identifying and developing local champions and peer support workers across Bristol's diverse communities to help those affected by drug or alcohol misuse. We are excited about inspiring people to tackle discrimination and stigma against those affected in the community."

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