DDN Sept 2021 September 2021 DDN Magazine - Page 23

unflinching in its assessment of the current state of play , and doesn ’ t pull its punches in calling for a radical reform of funding and accountability . The recommendations are laid out simply and plainly – we will be able to look back and clearly see which have and have not been delivered .
In its initial response to the review the government has laid out some of the cost-neutral steps already underway and commitments for the rest of the year , including a new crossgovernment drug strategy . This is to be welcomed , as is the commitment to work on a commissioning quality standard and local and national outcomes frameworks – as long as they are developed drawing on the rich expertise found in our field and not just by civil servants .
However , Dame Carol ’ s recommendation that £ 1.78bn be injected into the treatment system over the next five years will depend entirely on the outcome of the Spending Review . Dame Carol has spoken repeatedly of the importance of acting on her recommendations as a whole , not just to pick and choose which bits to take forward , and her appointment as a continuing independent advisor on the government ’ s progress is a promising sign . However , it is now incumbent on all of us , including our colleagues in Public Health England and central government , to help ‘ make it stick ’ in the months to come .
Our collective pledge is simple – we will continue to advocate for access for anyone in England with a drug and alcohol challenge to timely , effective , evidence-based and person-centred support . We will hold the mirror up to our system , and be honest about the areas where as providers and commissioners we can improve . Our world has been starved of resource and lacked political leadership yes , but we must acknowledge our own roles and responsibilities .
And we will push our ‘ critical friend ’ role to PHE and both new and existing government structures to provide support and critique on projects such as the commissioning quality standard and others . In short , we ’ ll use our individual and shared positions within the system to do what we can to try and bring the better future we all want to see into existence . But we are all firmly agreed the time for political action is now . Following years of disinvestment and a lack of political leadership , we are now experiencing a drug death crisis .
As a sector , we stand ready to work together with government and wider partners – both local and national – to make the most of this vital opportunity . The hundreds of thousands of people touched by addiction in this country are counting on us all to get this right .
Vivienne Evans is CEO of Adfam ; Oliver Standing is director of Collective Voice ; Stuart Green represents the College of Lived Experience Organisations ; Chris Lee is chair of the English Substance Use Commissioners Group and Danny Hames is chair of the NHS Addictions Provider Alliance
' The government faces an unavoidable choice : invest in tackling the problem or keep paying for the consequences ... A whole-system approach is needed and ... my review offers concrete proposals , deliverable within this parliament , to achieve this .'


Monday 11 October 2-3:30pm
This joint webinar between Addiction Professionals and DDN will look at the statistics behind the worrying increase in alcohol-related deaths and will consider the causes , and what we can do to prevent further increases .
We have a panel of experts to discuss these issues including :
Dr Steve Brinksman – Clinical Director , Addiction Professionals Kate Hall – Head of Operations , Substance Misuse Division , GMMH NHSFT Aimee Carter – Person with lived experience Kieran Doherty – Head of Quality and Governance , Inclusion
Find out more @ drinkanddrugsnews . com / events

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