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  1. Via backs introduction of UK’s first safe drug consumption room

    02 October 2023 by Erin Lee

    Via is delighted by the enlightened approach of the authorities in Glasgow in giving the official go-ahead for the UK’s first safe drug consumption room.

    There’s a misconception that a harm minimisation policy leads to condoning the use of illicit drugs – but the evidence from across Europe and Canada is to the contrary.

    Such services reduce accidental overdose deaths and help by linking individuals to structured treatment with all the associated benefits.

    Their introduction is a measured and incremental response to the present drug death crisis and will facilitate and enhance the effectiveness of other interventions. Consumption rooms are one component of a multifaceted toolkit, which could save many lives.

    Chair of Via, Yasmin Batliwala MBE, states that “This is an important step in the right direction and Via supports it and its adoption across the UK”.

    Additionally, Executive Medical Director at Via, Dr Yasir Abbasi, states that “Safe consumption rooms are tried and tested in many other countries and has evidence to support that they minimise harm and reduce morbidity and mortality. Well done, Glasgow!”

  2. Drugs contaminated with synthetic opioids: an updated collective message

    31 August 2023 by Erin Lee

    To anyone that uses drugs or cares for someone who does:

    The drugs available in the UK seem to be changing lately. As services that provide support to people who use drugs and their loved ones, we have come together to issue a shared statement about some of the new drugs being used by the people we support and the risks they present. 

    Today is International Overdose Awareness Day, and in honour of all those who have been affected by overdose and in light of new information about synthetic opioids, we have updated our joint statement.

    In the last two years, new opioids called “nitazenes” have arrived in the UK. They have recently been found mixed with heroin, with some being sold as illicit oxycodone pills and illicit ‘Xanax® powders.

    Nitazenes can be at least as strong as fentanyl and can be hundreds of times more potent than heroin. They are known to have led to accidental overdoses and the deaths of people across the UK in recent weeks.

    If you use drugs, this information could help you and your friends to stay safer. If you know people who use drugs but do not use drugs yourself, the following information could help you to keep people alive. 

    Because of how dangerous these contaminated drugs are, the way you use drugs may need to change to avoid overdose. We have updated the following information, in line with harm reduction guidance issued by EuroNPUD, with additional information provided to aid those living in the UK: 


    1. Carry naloxone

    • Always carry naloxone. It’s available from all drug services. 
    • If you live in Scotland: Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol and Drugs offers a ‘click & deliver’ service
    • If you live in Wales: Barod offers a ‘click & deliver’ service
    • Nitazenes have been found in non-opioid drugs (like illicit Xanax®), so even if you or your friends don’t normally use opioids,  it is still worth carrying naloxone. 
    • Carry extra naloxone – in some cases, it has taken multiple doses of naloxone to reverse  overdoses involving heroin contaminated with synthetic opioids. Carry two yellow cases of intramuscular naloxone or two double packs of nasal naloxone. More advice is provided in point six (overdose response). 


    2. Don’t use alone

    • Try not to use drugs alone, and don’t let your friends use them alone either. Watch out for signs of overdose in others. The signs include difficulty breathing, blue or grey colouring to the lips or fingertips (the former in lighter skinned people, and the latter in darker skinned people), unresponsiveness, and limp limbs.
    • If you are going to use drugs, reach out to someone to let them know your plans and ask them to check up on you.
    • If you are using with others, avoid all using at the same time. More advice on this is provided in point five (stagger your dose). 


    3. Check your drugs

    • Submit an anonymous sample of the substance to the WEDINOS Project for analysis. It will take a few days to get the results back, so go easy in the meantime.
    • Fentanyl strips do not test for nitazene.


    4. Start low, go slow

    • Start with a lower dose and wait for the peak effects to pass
    • If you’re using illicit pills, consider splitting them and starting with a fraction of the pill. If you can’t split the pill, you might want to consider using the crush, dab, wait method. This was designed for MDMA users and is more applicable to powder or crystal form drugs, but could also keep you safer when using other pills.


    5. Stagger your dose

    • Make sure you are with a friend and one or both of you have naloxone. 
    • If one person uses their drugs first, wait until the peak effects have worn off before the other person uses. This makes it much more likely that there is someone who can respond in the case of an overdose.


    6. Overdose response 

    • If someone overdoses, administer naloxone and call an ambulance.
    • Recent overdoses have required multiple doses of naloxone. You do not need to give doses at a faster rate, but you might need more than one naloxone kit. Continue to administer naloxone as you were trained to, and do not give multiple doses at once.
    • Aim to restore breathing rather than consciousness. As well as synthetic opioids, drugs may be contaminated with other substances such as benzos or xylazine, which can lead to heavy sedation.
    • Overdose symptoms returning is more likely with nitazenes, so make sure you observe someone for longer than you would with a normal heroin overdose. 
    • Naloxone only works on opioids. It’s best to use naloxone if you think someone has overdosed, even if you’re not sure what they’ve taken –  naloxone will not harm them.
    • While mixing different drugs is common, it is more likely to cause an overdose. Try to use one drug at a time. If you are going to mix drugs, use less of each.


    7. Seek substitute medication and other prescribing support 

    • If you use opioids every day, your local drug service can support you and prescribe alternatives such as methadone or buprenorphine. Abstinence does not need to be your goal; these alternatives can help to keep you much safer.
    • If you are already in treatment for opioid dependence and you don’t want to use on top, speak to your prescriber and make sure you’re getting the right dose for you.
      • Check out the SODA tool to help you determine if your dose is right. 
    • If you do still want to use on top, that is okay too, but be aware that there are higher risks now of overdosing. 
    • If you don’t use opioids but are worried about your drug use and you take illicit benzos every day, you can also talk to your treatment provider about how they can support you.



    Jon Findlay (National Harm Reduction Lead, Humankind)

    Deb Hussey (National Safer Lives Lead, Turning Point)

    Peter Furlong (National Harm Reduction Lead, Change Grow Live)

    Chris Rintoul (Innovation & Harm Reduction Lead, Cranstoun)

    Kate Blazey (Interim Medical Director, With You)

    Dr. Judith Yates (International Doctors for Healthier Drug Policies – IDHDP)

    Shayla S. Schlossenberg (Drugs Service Coordinator, Release)

    Mat Southwell (Project Executive, EuroNPUD

    Roz Gittins (Director of Care Standards and Practice Improvement, Via)

    Rob Barker (Campaigns and Communications Lead, Barod)

    Justina Murray (CEO, Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol and Drugs)

    Prof Adam Winstock (Consultant psychiatrist & addiction medicine specialist)

  3. Via and Amitis Group take over Awakn Clinics London

    05 July 2023 by Kate Bonner

    Via is proud to announce that it is launching a new and exciting joint venture with UK private investment company, Amitis Group, to take over treatment provision at Awakn Clinics London. 

    Awakn Life Sciences Corp (Awakn) is a clinical stage biotechnology company developing therapeutics to treat addiction with a near-term focus on alcohol use disorder. In addition to research and development (R&D), Awakn operates a healthcare services business unit with clinics in the UK and Norway. 

    Awakn recently announced that it will be exiting from healthcare service delivery to focus solely on biotechnology R&D.   

    Following Awakn’s restructure, Via’s joint venture with Amitis Group has acquired Awakn London Limited, a central London clinic trading as Awakn Clinics London. Via is now leading all treatments and therapies at the Awakn Clinics London with implementation starting from 5 July 2023.  

    The ground-breaking treatments involve the use of ketamine, in a controlled and supervised setting as part of a range of psychotherapy sessions, to help people access and process difficult emotions and experiences. It has shown positive results in managing a range of mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and alcohol relapse prevention.   

    Anna Whitton, CEO of Via said: “This is an incredible opportunity for Via to be at the cutting-edge of new therapeutic treatments and is a significant step forward in the potential to bring these treatments into the mainstream, with a view to facilitate access to people most in need. We’re excited about this partnership, the opportunity to continue engaging with the innovation, impact and research journey, and also collaborating with partners and colleagues in the drug and alcohol sector.” 

    Dr Arun Dhandayudham, Executive Medical Director at Via and Chief Medical Officer at Awakn added: ‘Ketamine-assisted psychotherapy is a significant development in the field of mental health and addictions treatment, and we’re thrilled to be a part of it. As medical professionals, it’s our responsibility to ensure that people have access to the most effective and safe treatments available. We look forward to expanding the availability of this treatment and to continue to research its potential benefits and risks. This treatment has shown promising results in clinical trials and offers hope to those who have not found relief from traditional therapies. I’m very confident that bringing Awakn Clinics London under the Via umbrella will be a powerful way to drive this treatment forward and give so many people fresh hope.” 

    Roz Gittins, Director of Care Standards and Practice Improvement at Via and a member of Drug Science’s Medical Psychedelic Working Group commented: “This is a really exciting time for Via to be leading the way on the use of medical psychedelics in clinical practice. I’m looking forward to support leading on this joint venture to enable greater access and improved research in the management of mental health conditions.” 

    Dr Rachel Britton, Clinical Lead at Via and Consultant Pharmacist at Awakn said: “I’m joining Via at an exciting time as we look to bring psychedelic medicine towards the mainstream. I’ve been fortunate to work with Awakn from the very beginning, establishing the first clinic of its kind in the UK. I look forward to working with the staff teams to build momentum and offer an alternative where existing therapies have failed.” 

    Anthony Tennyson, CEO of Awakn Life Sciences Corp. stated: “When we launched the first clinic in the UK, our goal was to be able to provide greater access to medicine to those in need.  We are happy to transition Awakn Clinics London to Via, allowing us to focus on our efforts on research and development of therapeutics to treat addiction, especially our phase 3 trial of Ketamine assisted therapy for alcohol relapse prevention, where we are working with ten NHS trusts and the University of Exeter under a NIHR grant, with a goal to have the treatment available throughout the NHS. We look forward working closely with Via to gather additional real world evidence to support our ongoing research.”   

    Adam Feldheim, Partner at Amitis Group stated: ‘’We are extremely happy to invest and partner alongside Via in this new venture. Via is a leader in providing addiction and mental health care in the UK and we are looking forward to working closely with them in bringing their expertise and standards of care to this new frontier.’’ 


    About Awakn Life Sciences Corp. 

    Awakn Life Sciences Corp. is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing therapeutics targeting addiction.  Awakn has a near-term focus on Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD), a condition affecting 285m people globally for which the current standard of care is inadequate. Our goal is to provide breakthrough therapeutics to addiction sufferers in desperate need and our strategy is focused on commercializing our R&D pipeline across multiple channels.  |  Twitter  |  LinkedIn  |   

    About Amitis Group 

    Amitis Goup is a ‘New Frontier Sustainable Wellness’ investment group with a philosophy that emphasises data-backed, clinically validated and under-funded solutions that prioritise human health. The goal of Amitis is to support and accelerate the development of the healthcare system of the future, prioritising preventative care, health optimisation and forward looking sustainable outcomes.

  4. We are Via

    05 June 2023 by Kate Bonner

    Anna Whitton, CEO of Via shares the story of our name and brand change and a look at what’s next in our journey.

    This year WDP (Westminster Drug Project) turns 30 and, at this milestone, we’re also changing our name.

    For people who know us and what we do, the decision to make this change will probably make sense. We aren’t a drugs project in Westminster anymore, and haven’t been for some time. Our services are now delivered in lots of different areas across England. These services also now include young peoples’ services and IPS services, for example, as well as the integrated community and residential drug and alcohol services that people know us best for. So our growth and development have led us to a really positive point where we’ve outgrown our original name.

    In saying this, changing the name of an organisation is a big decision and finding a new name is not easy. Because of that, we invested time in listening to what people had to say about who we are, how we do things and what makes us different. We wanted to know what people really thought about our name and brand, both now and with an eye on future changes and developments.

    Asha & Co led this piece of work for us and spent time with people who use our services, those who work and volunteer for us, and commissioners who know us well – along with those who don’t. They conducted one-to-one and small group interviews to explore in detail perspectives from a diverse group of people across a number of different roles, as well as undertaking broader research, review and reflection work.

    The feedback from this initial phase was really clear and consistent. People told us that they wanted a name that was more discreet, that was simple, clear and not tied to any particular geography or substance. Importantly, they also told us to reflect our humility in our name and brand, that the work we do is inspiring, but that claiming this in a name can be off-putting and doesn’t really reflect the way in which we already communicate. So, the task for any new name and brand was not a simple one and came with many requirements, including not losing the legacy of the last 30 years and our development over time.

    Our new name and brand were developed by Asha & Co, utilising the research they had undertaken, and the strong perspectives communicated from many different voices. Critically, while our senior team and board of trustees have known about the new name and brand for several months now, other than participating in the final approval process, our influence over its development was no more significant than anyone else who contributed to the original research phase. This was important to us – we wanted a name and brand that really reflected who we are, not what I or we as the ‘senior team’ thought it should be.

    Our new name is Via.

    Via reflects that we are part of a journey, that everyone’s journey is different, and that we work with people along their individual route. Our logo reflects that too. You’ll see that it changes, signalling the different paths that people take and choices that can be made.

    You’ll also see that our logo is black and white. It is clear, simple and easy to recognise in its different forms. It changes as you click through our new website and on our different service materials, but it is very clearly us.

    The colour in our brand comes from photography. That photography reflects the real world, not a perfect world. Our headline photographs purposefully don’t include faces, as we think that can feel limiting or excluding and so instead the images reflect moments, beauty in the everyday and people connected to the world that they live in. In effect, real life and lived experiences.

    The way that we’re using photography means that over the next 12 months we want to move to a position where all of our headline photographs are taken by the people who use our services, or who work or volunteer for us. We want to have a brand that can really feel owned by those who are central to what we do. That’s something we’re really excited by and I hadn’t anticipated that a change of name could bring such compelling opportunities to connect our work.

    The new name and brand also support changes across our service premises. We aren’t just changing the external signage but are taking the time to enhance our internal spaces too. Many already have murals that have been co-developed with people who use our services, so we’ve thought carefully about how the new brand works with those spaces and we’re excited about how it all comes together to support safe, welcoming and positive service environments.

    There has been lots to do to implement this initial but big change, and we’re really lucky to have had a great team of people to make that happen.

    We’ve got an exciting programme of work ahead of us, building on much of the progress that we’ve been making over the last few years. It’s important that we don’t lose sight of that, and that we continue on our really exciting and important journey too.

    Watch our short film to hear more about the story of our brand change:

    A version of this article also appeared in the June 2023 issue of DDN.

  5. Health and wellbeing charity WDP changes its name to Via

    by Kate Bonner

    Today, we are proud and excited to announce we’ve rebranded and changed our name from WDP to Via.

    After 30 years of providing life-changing care, we’re moving away from a name we’ve outgrown. The name Westminster Drug Project (WDP) represented our origins – a drugs project in Westminster – but it no longer speaks to who we are now, what we do or our ambitions for the future.

    As well as our transformational drug and alcohol services, we support adults and young people across the UK around their mental health, sexual health, and if they want to stop smoking. We also work with people interested in employment opportunities as part of their recovery journey.

    The decision to change our name has been warmly welcomed by the people that use our services, our staff and volunteers, and our commissioners.

    In our wide-ranging consultation work, we had lot of positive feedback about what people liked about us and didn’t want to lose. However, it was really clear that they wanted a name change, to something that was more discreet, simple, clear and not tied to any particular geography or substance. Working closely with creative agency, Asha & Co, our new name and brand were created to deliver against that feedback and to show who we are now.

    Our new name Via reflects that we’re part of a journey, that everyone’s journey is different, and that we offer consistent expertise to work with people along their individual route.

    Our logo illustrates this journey too as it can flex and change, signalling the different paths that people take, and the choices that can be made.

    The new logo is also black and white, so it’s clear, simple and easy to recognise in its different forms. It changes as you click through our new website and on our different service materials.

    The colour in our new brand comes from photography. The headline photographs we are now using purposefully don’t include faces, as it can feel limiting or excluding. Instead, the images reflect moments, beauty in the everyday and people connected to the world that they live in – real life and lived experiences. Over time, all of our headline photographs will be replaced by photographs taken by people with lived experience.

    Watch our short film to hear more about how and why we’ve changed our name:

    Anna Whitton, CEO of Via said: “This year we turn 30 and it is the right time for a new name that reflects our journey and responds to important feedback from the people we work with. Thank you to everyone who has helped us to make this decision and to deliver and launch an exciting new brand.”

    Yasmin Batliwala, Chair of Via commented: “WDP has grown and developed over the last 30 years as has its reputation for quality and client focussed care.  The change of name to ‘Via’ will enable us to embrace our determination to be the best provider of drug and alcohol services in the UK.”

  6. WDP and partners win HSJ Partnership Award 2023

    30 March 2023 by viadmn

    WDP is delighted to announce that the Hepatitis C Drug Treatment Service Provider Forum, which WDP is a part of, has been crowned the winner of the Best Healthcare Analytics Project at the HSJ Partnership Awards 2023, recognising their outstanding dedication to improving healthcare and effective collaboration with the NHS.

    Winners in a total of 21 categories, were announced during a ceremony at Evolution London, on 23 March 2023, hosted by comedian Joel Dommett. The event was attended by over 900 guests, bringing together national healthcare leaders and professionals from both the NHS and private sector as well as figures from non-clinical backgrounds to celebrate the crucial contributions of the private and third sector within the NHS.

    The Hepatitis C Drug Treatment Services (DTS) Provider Forum was nominated for its ‘Hepatitis C Virus Screening in Drug Treatment Services’ initiative, which aims to eliminate Hepatitis C from UK drug and alcohol services by the end of 2023.

    Membership of the Provider Forum includes a collection of the UK’s leading drug and alcohol service providers and The Hepatitis C Trust. The group’s members have been working together to implement a collaborative reporting and monitoring approach in Hepatitis C test and treat data.

    Marlon Freeman, WDP’s Hep C Coordinator told us: “We were extremely grateful that HSJ selected The Hep C Provider Forum to be a finalist in these categories. The hard work from its members is validated and shows appreciation in the mission to micro-eliminate Hep C in drug treatment services. Winning ‘Best Healthcare Analytics Projects for the NHS’ is an amazing achievement and displays our strong spirit of collaboration. Special thank you to all our WDP Data Leads.”

    HSJ editor Alastair McLellan comments: “The national healthcare sector faced innumerable pressures over the past 12 months, yet the standard and overriding positivity of the partnerships yet again this year highlights the enduring dedication to improving patient outcomes. So, we’re delighted that The Hep C Provider Forum has been announced as winners in the category of Best Healthcare Analytics at this year’s HSJ Partnership Awards 2023. The Hep C Provider Forum stood out in an outstanding field of nominees, each showcasing the very best collaborations and innovations in the healthcare sector today.”

    The winners were selected following a rigorous two-stage judging process by a group of 90 judges ahead of the HSJ Partnership Awards 2023 awards ceremony. The full list of Winners and those Highly Commended for the 2023 HSJ Partnership Awards can be found at

  7. WDP Harrow rated ‘Good’ by CQC

    27 March 2023 by viadmn

    We are pleased to announce that the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has rated WDP Harrow as ‘Good’ across the board.

    The CQC inspectors highlighted that the team “treated clients with compassion and kindness” and that they “actively involved clients in decisions and care planning”.

    The report shares that staff “developed holistic, recovery-orientated care plans informed by a comprehensive assessment” and that they “provided a range of treatments suitable to the needs of service users and in line with national guidance around best practice.”

    The inspectors also identified areas of outstanding practice in the service, specifically:

    • WDP’s Capital Card scheme, where service users can earn points by attending appointments and engaging with treatment, and then spend their points on positive activities in their local community. Since the last inspection, staff had updated the scheme to include blood borne virus (BBV) testing and eye testing at the local clinic.
    • The service had a partnership with the local hepatology team, whereby clinicians offered liver function testing and then screened service users for referral into the hepatology pathway.

    The report includes some exceptional feedback from service users. The inspectors reported that service users said the staff support is invaluable. They provided them with help, emotional support and advice when they needed it.

    Service users described the service as a friendly, welcoming place where they are treated respectfully. Another service user said that the staff are good at listening, were non-judgmental and very encouraging in their recovery journey.

    One individual described how the doctor ‘saved their life’ and went above and beyond.

    Oasis Azeez-Harris, Interim Senior Public Health Commissioner for Substance misuse and Sexual Health from Harrow Council said: In my experience I have found it very easy and refreshing to work with WDP in that the management is flexible, responsive, innovative and always willing to try out new proposals to meet residents needs. As a commissioner, I am pleased to work with WDP and always look forward to jointly working together to respond to known and emerging identified needs of Harrow residents to ensure people’s lives are improved.

    Vanessa Duke, Area Director for WDP Harrow said: ‘We are so pleased to have achieved a ‘Good’ rating from CQC, which acknowledges the hard work and commitment of our team in Harrow. The report showcases the compassion they have for our service users and the work they do to provide personalised high quality care to residents of Harrow. Being a part of a service users recovery journey is a great privilege and we are committed to working with them to continue to build on and develop the WDP Harrow recovery service. WDP have been delivering adult drug and alcohol treatment in Harrow since 2015 and we are proud of the strong working relationship we have built with our commissioners and we hope this partnership with continue to thrive to ensure the best outcomes for our service users.’

    To access the full CQC inspection report, please click here.

    If you live in Harrow and would like to talk to someone about your own or someone else’s drug or alcohol use, please contact us on 0300 303 2868 or

    You can also visit our service website page for more information and to register for help online:

  8. WDP and partners shortlisted for HSJ Partnership Awards 2023

    22 March 2023 by viadmn

    We are pleased to announce that we have been shortlisted for the Best Healthcare Analytics Project for the NHS Award, Best Pharmaceutical Partnership with the NHS Award, and Most Impactful Project Addressing Health Inequalities Award at this year’s HSJ Partnership Awards, along with our partners in the Hepatitis C Drug Treatment Services (DTS) Provider Forum.

    The HSJ Partnership Awards recognise the outstanding contributions made to healthcare across the UK and showcase these achievements on a national platform.

    The Hepatitis C Drug Treatment Services (DTS) Provider Forum has been nominated for its ‘Hepatitis C Virus Screening in Drug Treatment Services’ initiative, which aims to eliminate Hepatitis C from UK drug and alcohol services by the end of 2023.

    Membership of the Provider Forum includes a collection of the UK’s leading drug and alcohol service providers and The Hepatitis C Trust. The group’s members have been working together to implement a collaborative reporting and monitoring approach in Hepatitis C test and treat data.

    The Hepatitis C Drug Treatment Services (DTS) Provider Forum is praised in the shortlisting for ‘Delivering National Improvements in HCV Screening for Individuals Accessing Drug Treatment Services’, and ‘Engaging the Disengaged in Drug Treatment Services through HCV testing and linkage to care’.

    Marlon Freeman, Hep C Coordinator at WDP said: “We are extremely grateful HSJ has selected The Hep C-Provider Forum to be a finalist in these categories. The hard work from its members is validated and shows appreciation in the mission to micro-eliminate Hep C in drug treatment services.”

    The full list of nominees for the 2023 HSJ Partnership awards can be found at

  9. WDP and The Nelson Trust to launch new women-only detox

    08 March 2023 by viadmn

    WDP and The Nelson Trust are teaming up to open a specialist women-only detox centre – the only one of its kind currently in the UK.

    While there are some women-only residential rehabilitation services available, there is currently no women-only inpatient detoxification service in the UK.

    A lack of women-only detox provision is a major gap and specific barrier to residential rehabilitation, as detoxification is often required before women who are dependent on alcohol or drugs can access rehab.

    WDP and The Nelson Trust will be drawing on their respective and complementary strengths to open their women-only inpatient detox in Gloucestershire later in the year, ensuring that lived experience is front and centre of the design and development.

    Anna Whitton, CEO at WDP, said: “We are delighted to be collaborating with The Nelson Trust to find a solution and address this worrying gap in women’s treatment provision in the UK. Our significant experience, expert knowledge and clinical excellence in inpatient detoxification will help us provide bespoke, safe and supportive care for vulnerable women with complex needs at our new centre.”

    John Trolan, CEO at The Nelson Trust said: “Having worked with WDP over many years now we’re really excited and looking forward to further developing a collaboration around trauma-informed women specific detox.”

    If you would like to support or get involved with the development of this new initiative, please contact Anna Whitton on

    About The Nelson Trust

    The Nelson Trust is an award-winning registered charity, which was established as an abstinence-based residential addiction facility in 1985. We have been at the forefront of developing and delivering trauma informed women’s services recognising that women have distinct needs and require a gender-responsive approach. We offer safe women only residential and community centres where women can address their substance misuse and any underlying issues safely. For more information about Nelson Trust, visit or contact

  10. WDP to provide specialist smoking cessation support in Redbridge

    27 February 2023 by viadmn

    Leading drug and alcohol charity WDP is delighted to announce that it has been successful in its bid to deliver a new specialist smoking cessation service in the London Borough of Redbridge.

    The new service will commence from 1 April 2023 and will be operational for an initial three-year term. It comes as an addition to WDP’s well-established adult and young people’s substance misuse and sexual health services in the borough.

    The service will provide confidential, evidence-based behavioural and pharmacological advice and support to those who live, work or study in Redbridge, aged 12 and above, to help them to stop smoking or using other forms of tobacco.

    The new service brings with it WDP’s commitment to co-production and working in close partnership with the areas we serve. It will also have a keen focus on accessibility and supporting priority populations including those who use non-traditional and smokeless forms of tobacco, pregnant women, young people, and people who are engaged with mental health services. This will be supported by regular consultation with service users and community and faith groups.

    With a main hub in Ilford, the service will be embedded in the community, delivering a wide range of satellites and outreach activities in locations such as GP surgeries, COPD clinics, inpatient wards, mental health services, pharmacies, and other community sites. The team will be able to provide digital and remote contact, and WDP’s valued community pharmacy partners will also be able to provide smoking cessation interventions, supported by WDP’s Chief Pharmacist. This will ensure the service has a wide variety of accessibility options to reduce barriers to accessing support.

    Gladys Xavier, Director of Public Health for the London Borough of Redbridge said: “Smoking remains the leading causes of preventable illness, premature death and health inequalities. The new service will deliver a flexible and accessible service working closely with our NHS partners and will proactively outreach with our underserved communities to support residents to quit smoking and tobacco.”

    Craig Middleton, Executive Director of Services at WDP said: “This is an exciting new development for WDP and we are delighted to be delivering a specialist smoking cessation service to the residents of Redbridge. At WDP we are passionate about supporting people to improve their health and wellbeing and this is a perfect opportunity for us to support more people to do just that.”

    Join our team

    Visit our recruitment portal to view details of the roles available in our Redbridge smoking cessation team: