Review Of Substance Misuse Services Underway

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The first of a series of comprehensive reviews into the treatment of substance misuse in Wales has begun.

The review, by Healthcare Inspectorate Wales, is looking at the planning, commissioning and delivery of treatments that involve prescribing drug substitutes, for example methadone, in the community.

Taking an holistic approach the review will focus on the experience of the service user, the outcome of the treatment and how well the treatment services are managed.

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The Inspectorate will look at waiting times, how service users are referred for treatment and what wraparound support services (such as housing, employment and training), they receive during and after treatment.

The findings will be used to identify services that are performing well to help improve all treatment services across Wales and to develop treatment guidance.

The series of reviews will help improve the quality and consistency of treatment services across Wales, a major objective of the new ten-year substance misuse strategy 'Working Together to Reduce Harm' launched last week.

Minister for Social Justice and Local Government, Dr Brian Gibbons, said: "A major aim of the substance misuse strategy I launched last week is to continue to improve treatment services across Wales. This series of reviews will help us find out what is working well and ensure that services across Wales learn from each other. This first review will look at substitute prescribing and importantly will seek the views of those being treated and the outcome of their treatment. Treating substance misuse is complex. The review will look at the whole experience from referral and will see how agencies involved in treatment work together for the benefit of the service users.

Future reviews will look at other aspects of substance misuse services which will be informed by the outcome of this first review.

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