Thurrock Council highlight problems with drug misuse service

HEALTH and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny committee agreed to look at re-commissioning three new service including; the Healthy Lifestyles Service, Adults Substance Misuse Treatment Service and the Carers Support, Information and Advice service.

Members of the committee which met last Thursday (15 September) agreed to the suggested re-design of The Carers Support, Information and Advice which will now bring the service fully compliant with The Care Act 2014.

The new re-design will keep the same contract cost, but will seek to increase the capacity meaning the new service will see and support more Thurrock people.

The newly agreed Healthy Lifestyles Service will see a number of existing Public Health contracts brought together for better consistency and a more streamlined approach for residents.

Currently, services like weight management, tobacco control and smoking prevention as well as NHS Health Checks are separated into three different contracts, despite them being largely provided by NELFT.

The newly agreed approach will see services brought together meaning somebody could access all services through one referral, rather than three separate sign ups.

Lastly, the committee signed off the proposal for the re-procurement of the adult’s substance misuse treatment service.

Kent Council for Addiction (KCA) was awarded the drugs misuse contract in April 2015 but as part of a corporate merger, Addaction took over KCA in the summer of the same year and has been working with the council since.

After some issues with the service, which are being addressed, it was recommended that a new tender process begin to ensure the best service is in place for when the current contract expires in March 2017.

Chair of the committee, Cllr Victoria Holloway, is pleased to see the ongoing work in achieving the best deal with Thurrock people.

She said: “I’m pleased that officers are continuing to look, and relook at all of the contracts and services being offered to Thurrock’s people.

“We have a responsibility to ensure we as an organisation are getting the best value for money but we also have a greater responsibility in ensure our communities have access to the right services, in the right place when they need them.”

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