Issue - meetings

Community Substance Use

Meeting: 25/02/2020 - Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Adult Social Care and Health) (Item 52)

52 Community Substance Use pdf icon PDF 287 KB

The Council’s Public Health Lead to give a presentation.


Further to Minute No. 21 (2) (c) of 3 September 2019, the Committee received a presentation from the Council’s Public Health Lead on Community Substance Use on the Sefton Drug and Alcohol Treatment System. The presentation outlined the following:


·        Substance Use Treatment System Challenges for Sefton;

·        Substance Use Treatment Population Challenges for Sefton;

·        Successful Treatment Outcomes (Adults);

·        Sefton Drug and Alcohol Treatment System;

·        Sefton Integrated Drug and Alcohol Pathway;

·        Better Treatment Through Collaboration;

·        Better Treatment Engagement Through Stronger Collaboration;

·        Increasing Access to Effective Hepatitis C Treatment;

·        Reducing Drug Related Deaths; and

·        Drugs, Alcohol and Justice Cross-Party Parliamentary Group Recommendations.


Members of the Committee asked questions/raised matters on the following issues:


·       Clarification was sought on the 14% successful treatment completions, as a proportion of the total number in treatment.

This reflected those in treatment who successfully exited treatment and did not return to the service.


·       Were figures available for those users who exited treatment and were no longer using drugs or alcohol?

It was difficult to obtain such information. There was an assumption that users would return to the service if it was required.


·       How were the alcohol-only users supported, particularly those who only used alcohol in structured treatment?

Users were more likely to be successful in treatment largely due to the support offered, not only through services, but by family and friends. Where a mental health need was identified, this could be followed up.


·       The rates of successful treatment outcomes suggested that after-care following treatment was limited.

The service was previously measured in terms of harm reduction and now followed a predominant model of abstinence-based recovery. After-care plans varied by user.


·       Did after-care plans include contact?

Users could engage in services such as the Mersey Care Life Rooms facilities that offered low level community support.


·       Reference was made to the transient nature of the user population, particularly in Southport. Did the Hospitals provide statistics on users, post-treatment?

The treatment system was complicated, and Aintree and Southport Hospitals did not record information for the Treatment Programme.


·       Did the Police and Probation service contribute with information concerning the transient user population, particularly given that petty crime was likely to fund drug and alcohol habits?

There was some input by different services, although wider collaboration was required.


·       The Marmot Review published in 2010 had outlined the scale of health inequalities. Some individual cases of users were able to reach out.

Despite challenges to the funding, Public Health strived to ensure that services were immediate and responsive.




That the presentation be noted, and the Public Health Lead be thanked for his attendance.