HC Deb 27 February 2003 vol 400 cc696-7W
Mrs. Helen Clark

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what targets he has set for improving the waiting times for treatment for opiate dependency(a) in prison and (b) in the community. [97645]

Ms Blears

Drug treatment services in prisons are the responsibility of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department. I understand that the Prison Service has not set a specific target for improving the waiting times for treatment for opiate dependency in prison. All prisoners referred to the counselling, assessment, referral, advice and throughcare service should receive an initial assessment within a target of five days from the point of referral.

In December 2001, the National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse (NTA) developed a programme to tackle the growing problem of waiting times for drug treatment in the community. As part of this process, the NTA set targets on the maximum acceptable waiting times for treatment. The targets are defined by treatment modality, not by the patient's drug of dependence. Opiate dependent patients may be receiving treatment through any of the modalities shown in the table, according to their individual clinical need.

2002–03 2003–04
In patient detoxification 4 2
Specialist prescribing 6 3
GP prescribing 4 2
Structured counselling 4 2
Day Care 4 3
Residential rehab 4 3

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