LDAN/DrugScope conference 2011: Capital Concerns - the future for drug and alcohol services
Conference write up
On Wednesday 9th March 2011, LDAN/DrugScope hosted a conference, entitled Capital Concerns - the future for drug and alcohol services. Over 90 delegates, many of them LDAN and DrugScope members from London and around the UK, gathered for a packed day featuring plenary speakers, question time panel sessions and a series of workshops.
Opening Plenary After a welcome from the Chair, DrugScope’s Chief Executive Martin Barnes, the conference was opened by an address from David Burrows MP, who – as PPS to Oliver Letwin - has a significant role in informing delivery of the drug strategy. As a former criminal defence lawyer, David spoke of his personal experiences of working with people with drug or alcohol problems. He emphasised the need to improve support in the criminal justice system for this client group. He suggested that the ambitions for recovery in the 2010 Drug Strategy are achievable, and highlighted the importance of housing, employment and community/family support to make this happen. The MP then took a number of questions from the floor.
The first plenary session saw the London Drug and Alcohol Policy Forum’s Policy Advisor, David Mackintosh start things off with a presentation focussed on what the localisation agenda means for the drug and alcohol sector. Alison Keating, Head of the National Treatment Agency in London then presented on the NTA’s transition to Public Health England and the current funding and policy environment. Annette Dale-Perera, Strategic Director of Addictions and Offender Care for Central and North-West London NHS, looked at NHS reform and outcomes. Marcus Roberts, Director of Policy and Membership at DrugScope, finished the session with a look at the implications of payment by results for the drug and alcohol sector.
Presentations (ppts): David Mackintosh (to be added)
David Brindle, the Guardian’s public services editor, chaired a discussion between panellists Annette Dale-Perera, Addictions and Offender care Directorate, CNWL NHS Foundation Trust, Vivienne Evans, Chief Executive, Adfam, Debbie Lindsey, Chief Executive Blenheim CDP and Ryan Campbell, Director of Development, The Rehabilitation for Addicted Prisoners Trust (RAPt). Subjects covered in the session included the challenges posed by payment by results and the need for better communication and coordination between providers despite increasing competitiveness. The use of volunteers was debated with some providers arguing that volunteers should not be used to replace paid roles within treatment.
During the afternoon, delegates participated in one of four workshops themed on LDAN strands of work, led by practitioners from a number of different organisations.
Please click the links below to access Powerpoint presentations
‘Pathways to employment’, Nicola Singleton, Director of Policy and Research, UK Drug Policy Commission; Peter Simonson, The Alliance; Marcus Roberts, Director of Policy and Membership, DrugScope /LDAN
‘Homelessness and housing support’ Esther Sample, LDAN, Paul Anderson, Head of London, Homeless Link on Rough Sleeping, Stephen White from Shelter on statutory homelessness and Rachael Orr from Shelter on changes to LHA and housing benefit and
‘Approaches to domestic violence’, Shannon Harvey from the Stella Project; Emma Ward, DrugScope /LDAN
‘Responding to alcohol problems’, Matthew Andrews, Regional Alcohol Manager, Department of Health
Service User Panel Chaired by Rick Rutkowski from Addaction, the service user panel debate included Paul Paterson, Chair of the London User Council, Lindsey Moon from GLADA Women’s Voices, Tim Sampey, Service User Coordinator for Kensington and Chelsea and Terry Murtagh, Revolving Doors Service User Coordinator. Discussions focussed on what is needed to help service users move towards recovery. The importance of family support and also volunteering and meaningful occupation were highlighted. The particular challenges faced by female service users were raised, such as access to appropriate child care services. The problems of stigma in society towards service users was emphasised as a key barrier to recovery.
Finally, Martin Barnes, Chief Executive of DrugScope, reflected on the day’s proceedings and underlined the importance of working as a coordinated sector at a time of financial constraints and policy change.
‘Excellent coverage/ discussion of stigma’
‘Brilliant speakers, great to see service user reps for once and especially on a panel. Conference addressed real issues that are of concern to us. Very enjoyable, Thank you’
‘Excellent day- very informative. Got a lot out of it – much food for thought!’
Enjoyable and informative, emphasis on partnership is refreshing and totally necessary’
Question time panel
Service user panel