HC Deb 09 January 2003 vol 397 cc329-30W
Chris Grayling

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the budget for the national drugs treatment monitoring system is; and by how much the system is projected to exceed its budget. [88359]

Ms Blears

The development of the national drug treatment monitoring system (NDTMS) has been seen as a priority project and a substantial investment has been made not only to develop the system, but also to maintain it for the next seven years. The cost of the system was originally estimated as follows:

Cost of Development 543,484
Cost of support and maintenance over 7 years 600,650
Total cost over 7 years 1,144,134

As with any large scale project there will always be unforeseen additional requirements, which will need further investments. In the case of the NDTMS project, additional investments have been required to maintain the interim system and to ensure the development of the full software system remains on track. At present it is estimated that the original budget for the project has been exceeded by some 8 per cent.

Chris Grayling

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the nature and objectives of the national drugs treatment monitoring system. [88360]

Ms Blears

The national drug treatment monitoring system (NDTMS) is the national system for collecting information about problem drug users presenting for and entering into structured drug treatment services. The NDTMS will also gather information on the number of people who sustain and complete treatment programmes. The primary function of the NDTMS is to provide information on the national drugs strategy treatment target: To increase the participation of problem drug users in drug treatment programmes by 55 per cent. by 2004 and by 100 per cent. by 2008, and increase year on year the proportion of users successfully sustaining or completing treatment programmes".

The system will become fully operational on 1 April 2003.