Service Transformation

01.05.18

Substance abuse and addiction services decline with lack of funding

Alcohol dependency services are at a crisis point and which is “undoubtedly” a result of a lack of funding from central government, a new survey has warned. 

In a report from Alcohol Research UK and Alcohol Concern, the survey, which received 154 completed responses from medical professionals and service users, found that only 12 per cent of those surveyed felt that substance abuse services in their area were sufficient in providing care for alcohol addiction.

A major reason for the decline in quality of these services was a shortfall in funding: cuts in between 10% and 58% were reported by those who responded to the survey, with two medical professionals labelling it as an “assault on funding” with “phenomenal workloads.”

Public Health England estimates that around 595,000 people in England alone are in need of specialist alcohol treatment. Around 200,000 children live in a household with a dependent carer. Yet in 2016-7, only 80,454 people received treatment for alcohol dependencies.

With 80% of alcohol dependent people currently not in touch with rehabilitation services, the problem is much greater than it first appears. More importantly, because 59% of respondents feel that aspects of the services in their area had worsened in the last three years, the report claims that help services “cannot survive” the demand for services at their current level of funding.

The report said: “The challenges facing alcohol treatment services are numerous and, in many cases, acute. They are, undoubtedly, a consequence of funding cuts which have gone beyond what a functioning system can sustain if the goal is the meaningful reduction of harm to individuals, families and communities.

“Alcohol services cannot survive at their current level of funding. Simply put they require more investment. Government-- both national and local— needs to recognise the vital role that alcohol treatment plays in addressing the tragic consequences dependency can have on individuals.”

In 2016 there were 7,327 deaths directly due to alcohol in England. And, despite there being a drop in the amount of adults in treatment for alcohol addiction since 2014, over the last forty years UK liver disease rates have increased by around 250%, during which time they have fallen across much of the developed world.

The report makes 14 recommendations on the course of action for the government to take, including the creation of a National Alcohol Strategy, better guidance to support solutions to problems around the relationship between alcohol misuse and mental health, and an independent review of the commissioning of alcohol services “to ensure it delivers the safes , most effective and best services.”

 

Enjoying PSE? Subscribe here to receive our weekly news updates or click here to receive a copy of the magazine!

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

public sector executive tv

more videos >

latest public sector news

Council to spend £4m investigating senior officers who gave themselves 20% wage rise during pay freeze

14/12/2018Council to spend £4m investigating senior officers who gave themselves 20% wage rise during pay freeze

A council has agreed to allocate nearly an extra £250,000 to an investigation looking into alleged pay rises given to senior officers. ... more >
Government commissioner allows Wakefield Council to retain full control of services

14/12/2018Government commissioner allows Wakefield Council to retain full control of services

Almost four months after Ofsted inspectors identified “serious and widespread failures” across Wakefield’s children’s ser... more >
Fife Council scraps controversial P1 assessments despite harsh government opposition

14/12/2018Fife Council scraps controversial P1 assessments despite harsh government opposition

Fife Council has announced that it will be scrapping the controversial standardised P1 assessments at the end of the current academic year. ... more >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this... read more >

last word

The importance of openness after Grenfell

The importance of openness after Grenfell

Following the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy, Lord Porter, chairman of the LGA, argues that if the public are going to have faith in the safety testing process then everything must be out in the o... more > more last word articles >
View all News

the raven's daily blog

Blog: 5 minutes with Gary Wallis-Clarke, member of the Northern Powerhouse Education and Skills Group

12/12/2018Blog: 5 minutes with Gary Wallis-Clarke, member of the Northern Powerhouse Education and Skills Group

Ahead of the upcoming networking extravaganza EvoNorth, we caught up with Gary Wallis-Clarke, a member of the Northern Powerhouse Education and Skills group, executive headteacher at West Jesmond Primary school, and its national leader of education. In our interview, Gary reveals what the Northern Powerhouse means to him and explains... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

comment

The digital buying community is live

12/11/2018The digital buying community is live

Many of the requirements from buyers posted on the Digital Marketplace were either non-compliant or poorly worded, which resulted in challenges f... more >
A force to be reckoned with

12/11/2018A force to be reckoned with

The South Bank plan, which refers to a number of investments and proposed activities across a massive plot of land south of the River Aire, is on... more >
Less for less: the risk of 'core offers'

12/11/2018Less for less: the risk of 'core offers'

As councils across England struggle with their finances in the face of massive cuts from central government, Simon Edwards, director of the Count... more >
A two-speed England

05/11/2018A two-speed England

Central government needs to change its approach to local transport planning and investment, including by consolidating funding and maximising dev... more >

interviews

New Dorset Councils CEO on the creation of a new unitary: ‘This is going to be the right decision for Dorset’

05/11/2018New Dorset Councils CEO on the creation of a new unitary: ‘This is going to be the right decision for Dorset’

The new chief executive of one of the new unitary authorities in Dorset has outlined his approach to culture and work with employees, arguing tha... more >
Keeping the momentum of the Northern Powerhouse

15/10/2018Keeping the momentum of the Northern Powerhouse

On 6 September, the biggest decision-makers of the north joined forces to celebrate and debate how to drive innovation and improvement through th... more >
Cllr Cutts on dealing with children’s services pressures: ‘I can’t magic money out of the air’

26/09/2018Cllr Cutts on dealing with children’s services pressures: ‘I can’t magic money out of the air’

The leader of Nottinghamshire County Council has outlined her priorities for dealing with soaring demand of children’s services and social ... more >
Nottinghamshire considers unitary shake-up proposals in a bid to balance books

05/09/2018Nottinghamshire considers unitary shake-up proposals in a bid to balance books

Nottinghamshire County Council is considering proposals to scrap its current two-tier structure for a new unitary system in order to save on... more >

public sector focus

View all News