HC Deb 09 February 1984 vol 53 cc755-9W
Mr. Soames

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what action is being taken in England in the light of the report on treatment and rehabilitation made by the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs; and whether he will make a statement.

Mr. Fowler

There has been considerable progress towards the improvement of services for drug misusers since this report was published a little over a year ago on 1 December 1982—[Vol. 33, c. 215]—and comments were invited on it.

The Government recognise — as do the bodies we consulted and many anxious parents and families—that help of the kinds highlighted by the advisory council's report is essential to bring about an enduring change in the behaviour of drug misusers.

Last April we invited applications for grants from a fund of £6 million earmarked over three years for initiatives by statutory and voluntary bodies in England to assist drug misusers. Grants totalling £3.7 million have now been allocated to 51 wide-ranging projects. These include local surveys of needs, training schemes for nurses and for volunteers, clinical detoxification and withdrawal services, new counselling and education services, toxicological screening equipment and other new physical facilities. The projects listed will be a valuable reinforcement of local services, and reports on them will add to knowledge of the most effective ways of tackling these problems.

The scheme has been so successful that the available money has been oversubscribed on the first round. Decisions on which projects will take up the remainder of the £6 million will be announced as soon as possible. The report points to a way forward that does not depend upon the creation of costly new institutions. It stresses the need for a steady development of services making the most effective use of existing resources. I have already announced our acceptance of the recommendation that prime responsibility for the provision and development of services for drug misusers should remain at local level. It is vital that all concerned should co-operate in both planning and delivery of services. The report recommends drug advisory committees and drug problem teams at regional level and, in the longer term, at district level.

The next step is for health authorities to report to me on their intentions in response to the report. In a circular I shall be asking regional health authorities to review the incidence of drug misuse in their areas in consultation with district health authorities, local authorities and voluntary bodies and to report within six months on the scale of their problem and their plans for tackling it, including co-ordinated in-service training arrangements.

We shall help, where we can, to spread good practice on training. A new national facility would not, in my view, be more effective than the existing structures and arrangements since it is at local level that training can be most responsive to service needs, drawing fully on local resources and skills. We shall be writing to the professional bodies concerned to ask what action they are taking on the advisory council's recommendations on training which concern them.

A working group of medical practitioners has been appointed to prepare guidelines on good clinical practice in the treatment of drug misuse and to consider the report's recommendations for the extension of licensing restrictions to include all the opioid drugs. The group will take into account comments on the advisory council's report. I hope to receive is own report in about six months' time.

Following is the list of grants approved:

Health Authority Description of Project £
East Cumbria HA Walk-in Centre 75,800
Newcastle HA Extension of services at Drug Dependence Unit 122,520
South Tyneside HA Community Psychiatric Nursing Team 103,413
Leeds Western HA Community Based Drug Addiction Service 80,663
North Lincolnshire HA Information gathering and co-ordination 18,500
Nottingham HA Outpatient/community Centre 127,180
East Anglian RHA Part-time clinic in Norwich 91,636
Cambridge HA Street based Clinic for Young Drug Misusers 186,202
Hillingdon RHA Educational/Preventative Programme 109,555
Paddington and North Kensington HA Therapy Service for Drug Misusers and Families 126,505
Hammersmith and Fulham HA Drug Screening Service 18,309
City and Hackney HA Extension of existing services 37,800
Bloomsbury HA Nurse Training Course 51,399
Bloomsbury HA Local Routine Monitoring System (North London) 62,633
Bromley HA Information gathering—Assessment of district needs 43,400
West Lambeth HA Drug Screening Service 18,541
Mid-Downs HA Counselling, treatment and education service 55,833
Kingston and Esher HA Extension of existing services (ie addition staff) at walk-in clinics 24,600
Portsmouth and South East Hants HA Community Treatment Day Centre 114,595
Isle of Wight HA Walk-in Centre 77,438
Oxford RHA Outreach work and prevalence study 38,400
Worcester and District HA Drug Problem Team 79,725
West Birmingham HA Nurse Training Course 43,530
Walsall HA Advisory and Follow-up Service and assessment of District Needs 101,600
Wolverhampton HA New Treatment Clinic 32,602
Mersey RHA Micro-computer for Drug Dependency Unit 7,900
Halton HA Strengthening of existing Out Patient Clinic 61,400
Wirral HA New Detoxification and Withdrawal unit 109,173
North Western RHA Strengthening of existing Regional Service 190,992
North Western RHA Nurse Training Course 96,000
Lancaster HA Information gathering assessment of District needs 34,000

Voluntary Organisations
Voluntary Organisation Description of Project £
Bournemouth and District Drugs Advisory Service Information/Administration Centre 73,867
Bradford Independent Drug Guidance Advisory, Counselling and Referral Service 135,000
Esher Association for the Prevention of Addiction Advisory/Education Service 79,339
Esher Association for the Prevention of Addiction Equipment 4,352
Esher Association for the Prevention of Addiction Strengthen of existing rehabilitation services 7,432
Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire Standing Conference on Drug Misuse Advisory and Counselling Service 43,200
Inward House Expansion of existing rehabilitation services—Lancaster 32,560
Leatherhead and District Association for the Prevention of Addiction Expansion of existing counselling/education/monitoring of prevalence service 9,500
Merseyside Drugs Council Counselling/Advisory/Development Services—Wirral 71,274
Merseyside Drugs Council Counselling/Advisory/Development Services—St. Helens 62,023
NACRO Training Development Unit—Manchester 118,534
NACRO Training Development Unit—South West England 116,844
Phoenix House Rehabilitation Service—Sheffield 123,031
Stevenage Drug Liaison Group Advisory, Support and Out-Reach Service 43,000

Voluntary Organisation Description of Project £
TRANX Self-Help Group—Tranquilliser Misuse—Harrow 53,600
Turning Point Birmingham Drugline—Telephone Advice Service 69,120
Turning Point Sheffield Drugline—Telephone Advice Service 93,720
Turning Point West Midlands Development Project Initiation of low-cost volunteer-run conselling services 48,540
Turning Point Hungerford Drug Project Training Package—Central London 52,110
Turning Point ROMA Rehabilitation Service—upgrading of building—Hammersmith 128,000