1st March 2012
Department announces changes to funding for drug misuse support services
The Department of Social Care has reviewed how open access support and advice services that are provided to adults and young people who have drug related problems can be improved. These are known as Tier 2 services. This review has indicated that better value can be achieved by providing services in a different way and as a consequence the Drug Advice Service and Helpline (DASH, an independent local charity) has been formally notified of the Department’s intention to cease funding in six months for both the Adult and Young Persons Tier 2 aspects of the Service. The Department recognises a continuing need for general advice and information regarding drugs and that DASH has the expertise and skills to provide this and so has offered to continue funding the DASH Helpline via a grant.
Minister for Social Care Hon Chris Robertshaw MHK said:
“The Department of Social Care has a key role in protecting vulnerable members of our community as effectively and efficiently as possible. This development is an example of the Department’s commitment to the Island’s Drug and Alcohol Strategy and to wider fiscal challenges and responsibilities. I would like to take this opportunity to thank DASH for all their hard work on behalf of the Department and wish them well for the future.”
The Department has worked in partnership with DASH for several years, funding support services for both adults and young people. In 2009 the Department commenced funding for DASH to provide additional services on a pilot basis. As part of the pilot, the Department has monitored performance and has identified that the activity levels for both the Adult and Young Persons components of DASH have been far lower than anticipated. Therefore the Department has decided to withdraw funding for these under-used services from the end of August 2012, at which point the alternative service model will be initiated. The revised model will focus on cost effectiveness and expand the nature of service delivery which will result in more people accessing support. Plans are currently being finalised for the alternative and the Department hopes to announce the amended service delivery model within the coming few months.
David Quirk MHK is the political Member for the Department of Home Affairs with responsibility for the Drugs and Alcohol Strategy. He said:
“The Drugs and Alcohol Strategy is delivered by a wide range of Government agencies and third sector service providers. Together, I believe we are making a significant difference to individuals and families whose lives are blighted by dependency on drugs and/or alcohol. I very much agree with the need to review the manner in which Government provide these essential services and consider alternatives when necessary. Furthermore, I am keen that this will enable us to continue, and indeed improve, the service we provide to those members of our community that need such support”.