Recovery: do we honestly do it well?

For a significant number of years, we as a drug and alcohol treatment sector (specifically providers, commissioners, policy makers – both local and national) have been experiencing a time of substantial challenge. 

With reductions in budgets; a year on year increase in drug-related-deaths; a workforce under strain; the loss of expertise and an ever dwindling lack of diversity in terms of organisations and individuals who can help navigate these challenges. All of this within the context of endlessly competing for contracts, and organisations balancing the need for survival with that of meeting their charitable or public sector duties. 

How has this impacted on service users and carers? Particularly, when we expect them to achieve and accommodate great changes in their lives? As a sector, how well have we changed our behaviour to accommodate the landscape we are faced with? Can we be sure our behaviour as a sector has not negatively impacted on service users and carers? Do those with the most complex needs receive the service they deserve? The Drug and Alcohol Sector is still a multimillion pound sector, so can we do better? Lots of questions and possibly a few answers, but definitely time for a new debate. 

Join in the debate at the NHS Substance Misuse Provider Alliance Conference 2018 , where Danny Hames, Chair of NHS SMPA, will be starting the discussion, and providing a some of the answers.