07 December 2021
WDP responds to the government’s new drug strategy
WDP welcomes the publication of HM Government’s 10-year drugs plan and, in particular, its adoption of the recommendations of Dame Carol Black’s Review of Drugs.
As a third sector provider of recovery treatment and support services, we welcome the additional investment in these systems. We are positive about the difference this can make to the health and wellbeing of those suffering from addiction issues and society as a whole.
The new funding will help providers such as ourselves to invest in more specialist roles to support our most complex clients. Increasing client-facing staff numbers overall will also help to increase the quality of personalised care.
The continuation of current increased funding is appreciated, as is the introduction of further investment, staggered over the next three years according to geographic areas of need. However, it should be borne in mind that every local authority has a proportion of people with the highest levels of need, and they must benefit from this investment equally.
A holistic approach to recovery, including accommodation and employment status is encouraging, particularly the commitment to have IPS employability programmes in every local authority by the end of 2024/2025. We have seen first-hand the effectiveness of this approach in our award-winning IPS Into Work service in West London.
The strategy recognises that addiction is a long-term health condition. This is vital, as is the focus on equality in treatment opportunities. WDP treats all those who access our services with the utmost dignity and will ensure that their voices are continually heard as the recommendations of this report are implemented.
We look forward also to the further development of the 10-year plan beyond the detail for the first three years outlined today. It is critical that the ambitions of this strategy are realised for the social, physical, and mental wellbeing of the nation.
Yasmin Batliwala, Chair of WDP said “We are encouraged by the financial investment being put into drug treatment; Dame Carol Black’s Review rightly states that the ‘payoff is handsome’ with each £1 spent on treatment saving £4 from reduced demand on other services. It is imperative that services are evidence-based and robust, providing a comprehensive range of treatment and care to meet the differing and complex needs of those we support. Dynamic partnerships will be essential if the drugs strategy is to work, and this will require coordinated action within and between government departments and the drug sector.”
To read the government’s drug strategy, please visit: From harm to hope: A 10-year drugs plan to cut crime and save lives – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)