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Models of care for treatment of adult drug misusers: Update 2006


Quality requirements for drug treatment

The following section outlines criteria to summarise key quality requirements for drug treatment that represents nationally agreed best practice, consistent with this guidance and with other nationally recognised guidance. Therefore, these can be used to support commissioners, services, and the Healthcare Commission in making progress in achieving a number of developmental standards in drug misuse treatment.

There are 15 key quality criteria for drug treatment outlined. The quality criteria are divided into two sections: those for commissioners, and those for providers of drug treatment. The 15 broad quality criteria for drug treatment are:

7.4.1 Quality requirements for commissioners

QRC1: Strategic partnerships Local commissioning mechanisms should have formal strategic partnerships with key stakeholders including health, social care, housing and employment services, drug treatment providers, and

local drug user and carers.

QRC2: Local needs assessments There is a shared understanding of the local need for drug treatment, based upon annual needs assessment reports in line with a nationally agreed methodology. The needs assessment profiles the diversity of local need for drug treatment, including rates of morbidity and mortality (e.g. infection with BBVs), the degree of treatment saturation or penetration, and impact of treatment on individual health, public health and offending.

QRC 3: Drug treatment systems are developed in line with national frameworks

Local commissioners for drug treatment develop local drug treatment system plans annually in line with the Models of Care: Update 2006, with focus on reducing harm to individuals and communities, improving clients’ journeys through treatment, predicting client flow through local systems and improving the effectiveness of local drug systems.

QRC 4: Local commissioning partnerships demonstrate good practice in managing public finance and contracts

Local commissioners demonstrate best practice in handling public money, contracting with providers and monitoring service

level agreements.

QRC 5: Performance management of local drug treatment systems

Local commissioning partnerships performance manage local systems of drug treatment using data and key performance indicators in partnership with local strategic partners and plans.


QRC 6: Local commissioning functions are “fit for purpose” and competent

Local commissioning partnerships are “fit for purpose”, have involvement from key stakeholders at an appropriate level of seniority and ensure commissioners are competent against national quality standards and other relevant professional frameworks.

7.4.2 Quality requirements for providers

QRP 1: A person-centred service All those with drug misuse problems have access to appropriate drug treatment irrespective of their background and characteristics and each service user is supported to improve their health, social circumstances and wellbeing by the provision of individually tailored drug treatment.

QRP 2: Screening and assessment Individuals with drug misuse problems are screened and/or assessed in sufficient detail to identify their drug treatment needs and inform individual care plans (where required).

QRP 3: Reducing harm to drug misusers Individuals with drug misuse problems receive information, advice, injecting equipment where appropriate and brief interventions and treatment to help them reduce potential harm due to the transmission of blood-borne viruses (HIV, hepatitis B and C), drug- related infections and overdose, and other drug related deaths, and to improve their physical and mental health

QRP 4: Reducing drug-related harm to others

  • Drug treatment providers ensure that drug service users’ significant others have access to support and interventions to reduce harm related to drug misuse. This includes intervening to reduce the risk of (significant) harm to the children of drug misusers and ensuring partners and families of service users have access to support in their own right

  • Drug treatment providers collaborate with criminal justice colleagues to ensure drug-misusing offenders have access to appropriate drug treatment, and appropriate interventions addressing risk of harm

  • Drug treatment providers work with local authorities and communities to minimise other, potential drug related harm,

    • e.

      g. discarded injecting equipment and public nuisance

  • Drug treatment providers work within Area Child Protection Committee guidelines

QRP 5: Providing brief interventions Brief drug-related interventions are provided to drug misusers, as required, to address drug and alcohol problems (e.g. for some cannabis misuse problems), to increase access to and motivation

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