Representatives of residential drug and alcohol treatment providers came together last Thursday (26th January) to discuss the challenges the sector faces from an increasing appetite for outcome based commissioning, including payment by results, in public services and an analysis of preliminary performance data for the sector.
More than 60 organisations providing mainly publicly-funded services attended a conference hosted by the NTA, the Recovery Partnership (consisting of DrugScope, the Recovery Group UK and the Substance Misuse Skills Consortium), eATA and The Concordat.
The conference was both informative and productive, with all participants affirming the importance of working together collaboratively to ensure the continued provision of quality drug and alcohol treatment and recovery services during the change to a new public health system.
From April 2013, local authorities will take full responsibility for commissioning drug and alcohol treatment, supported by a new national body, Public Health England, which will take over key functions of the NTA.
Local areas will be able to demonstrate improvements by achieving progress against a new indicator that measures the proportion of those in treatment who overcome dependency and do not re-present to treatment within six months.
The NTA shared a preliminary analysis of data from the National Drug Treatment Monitoring System (NDTMS) about current levels of residential activity, treatment outcomes and comparative performance in England. Workshops were held to discuss the issues raised in the analysis and providers had the opportunity to discuss NDTMS in more detail.
In the light of concern amongst some residential providers, a thorough audit of data quality is to be undertaken across the sector before any of the analysis material will be ready for publication. The NTA will work with residential providers to ensure they can demonstrate effective outcomes through robust reporting of data, including supplying training where necessary.