Concern misplaced in Guardian article about addiction services

Posted by on 27 June 2012 | 2 Comments

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Equinox’ Bill Puddicombe commented:

"We were disturbed to see the article in Society Guardian this morning about addiction services. The argument seemed to be that service users and communities are always worse off if substance misuse services are run by the voluntary sector, rather than the NHS.

"We know that this is not the case as we, and many other voluntary organisations have been successfully managing services for many years. Much of the innovation in the current range of services comes from the voluntary sector and many service users find our services easier to access. In any case, we now see that a partnership between NHS and voluntary organisations can be the most potent combination of approaches.

"Our concern would that too many services are now commissioned, irrespective of who manages them, without due regard to diversity of need. We are seeing a fad for all-encompassing, one dimensional “solutions” that leave many of those with more complex needs out in the cold.

"On this last point we must take issue with Dr Clare Gerada – someone we almost always agree with. Dr Gerada says that charities “don’t want to take on the difficult cases”. Here at Equinox, our service users are most often those with the most complex and challenging needs, often in far social exclusion. We wouldn’t call them “difficult cases”, but we will always be there for them."

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  • I agree there are a lot of Commissioned services out there doing excellent work but unfortunately I have also seen those service which cause concern, and do not (not competent to)  take on complex cases.
    I have seen commissioner divide a service in two separate providers; city and county, one being NHS and the other being vol. sector. As a result one getting a better service than the other.
    I agree with both dr gerada and yourselves. There are some organisations that take on more than they handle which reiterates your point of too many services being commissioned without thorough investigation. 
    We know there are bad practices out there; private, voluntary and NHS but I am pleased to say i feel these are out numbered by the excellent ones.

    Posted by Matt Beecroft, 28/06/2012 6:07am (5 years ago)

  • In my experience voluntary agencies do not have the infrastructure to employ medical staff and rely on medics on a sessional basis. Complex cases and prescribing require medics with experience of working with service users and with a position within the team to ensure safe clinical governance. I agree the way forward is for NHS voluntary sector partnerships. Lets work together, using our expertise in the areas we do best and put service users first.

    Posted by Andy B, 27/06/2012 10:30pm (5 years ago)

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