Recovery Partnership:
 Substance Misuse
Commissioning Bulletin
December 2016
Dear Colleague

The Recovery Partnership conducts research and consultation with stakeholders including commissioners, drug and alcohol practitioners, service managers and service users to explore what's really going on in the sector, share good practice and support the delivery of a range of recovery focused services for those struggling with drug or alcohol issues.

This bulletin contains information and resources we hope you find useful. Please let us know if you'd prefer not to receive any more.
Commissioning for Recovery
We have been running a series of meetings for substance misuse commissioners from around the country to check in, offer support and advice in a confidential space. The next next will take place in Manchester on Tuesday 28 February 2017. There will also be a couple of external speakers of interest. The meeting is all day and we will provide lunch. Please get in touch if you can make it – the last few sessions have been both fascinating and productive!
The Recovery Partnership

Key work delivered in 2016 has included:
November Commissioning for Recovery Meeting
On 1 November 2016 we facilitated the meeting of a group of substance misuse commissioners to share good practice, challenges and concerns. The discussion covered:
  1. Making it Happen - an Adfam resource to be launched in the new year that looks at best practice in commissioning effective support for families 
  2. Substance Users and End of Life Care - a project by Manchester Metropolitan University funded by the Big Lottery.
  3. A general discussion around how services can be commissioned to facilitate the recovery of those with drug or alcohol issues. Themes included: cuts to funding and a lack of staff to deliver services; providers being asked to do more with less money; and local authorities being funded solely by business rates in 2019.
This briefing note (pdf) summarises the discussions.
State of the Sector 2016
In March 2017 we will launch the State of the Sector 2016 report. Since 2013 this annual report has provided vital snapshots of the state of the drug and alcohol sector.

This year we are building detailed first-hand accounts by conducting three “deep-dives” into local areas around the country – speaking to commissioners, practitioners, service managers, service users, family members, directors of public health, elected members and police and crime commissioners. This will give us a real taste of the mood of the sector, the challenges but also the positives that can be taken amidst a time of funding cuts and changes in commissioning and the delivery of services.
Reports and resources

Prevention of harm caused by alcohol exposure in pregnancy Rapid review and case studies from Member States – World Health Organization (EU Regional Office)
This is a rapid review by the WHO on studies looking at the prevention of harm caused by exposure to alcohol during pregnancy. Most studies have found that some form of intervention, whether it be a leaflet or motivational interviewing, did have at least some impact on alcohol exposure.

Data intelligence summary: Alcohol consumption and harm among under 18 year olds - Public Health England
This document highlights the downward trend in hospital admissions for males and females under 18 with numbers halving since 2006/07. However, the proportion of children in the UK drinking alcohol is still above the European average, with British teenagers more likely to binge drink or get drunk.

Substance misuse statistics from NDTMS: financial year ending March 2016 – Public Health England
The National Drug Treatment Monitoring System (NDTMS) has published its annual alcohol and drug treatment activity statistics for adults in England for the financial year ending in March 2016. Overall, 288,843 individuals were in contact with drug and alcohol services in 2015/16 which is a 2% reduction on last year. 

Preventing Children and Young People’s Mental Health and Substance Use Problems – Mentor ADEPIS
This report recommends delivering mental health education in schools, promoting high levels of wellbeing, avoiding teaching practices that might exacerbate emotional or behavioural conditions and facilitating preventative activities such as mindfulness.

Seizures of drugs in England and Wales, year ending 31 March 2016 – Home Office
The Home Office has released statistics on the seizure of drugs in England and Wales in the year ending 31 March 2016. Key findings include an 11% decrease in drugs seized compared with the previous year which was the fourth consecutive annual fall. Over the same period, there has been a 13% decrease in the number of police recorded drug offences. 

The Frontline Battle – All-Party Parliamentary Group on Alcohol Harm
This report, based on an inquiry into the impact of alcohol on Emergency Services, shows the impact of alcohol related problems on our Emergency Services. A number of recommendations are made, including a call for a Government-led, cross-departmental National Strategy to tackle excessive drinking and alcohol-related harm.

The Public Health Burden of Alcohol and the Effectiveness and Cost-Effectiveness of Alcohol Control Policies – Public Health England
This document includes a summary of the many different types and prevalence of alcohol-related harm, including the impact on health, the family, employment and crime and disorder. The second part of the report presents evidence for the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of seven alcohol control policies.

An Independent Review into the impact on employment outcomes of drug or alcohol addiction, and obesity – Dame Carol Black
Dame Carol Black has published her independent review which explores the challenges faced by individuals who are addicted to alcohol or drugs, or are obese, when they seek to enter, return to and/or remain in work. The review makes a number of recommendations which include recognising the wider needs of a person and better integrating treatment, employment and benefits support.

Commissioning in Crisis: how current contracting and procurement processes threaten the survival of small charities – Lloyds Bank Foundation for England & Wales
Lloyds Bank Foundation has published its report which brings together the experiences of small charities taking part in current commissioning processes. It found that central and local government are using shockingly complicated and inappropriate contracting and commissioning processes to secure vital public services, which in turn leaves charities threatened with closure and the future of public services at risk.
Academy for Justice Commissioning events

A series of Academy Events are taking place in the new year. These include a commissioning themed annual conference and monthly evening seminars featuring expert guest speakers discussing relevant commissioning topics. These events are aimed at helping develop your knowledge and offer the opportunity to network and share best practice with your commissioning colleagues.