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plans. The DAT partnership should develop strategies through the treatment planning process to achieve year-on-year increases in the numbers of people entering treatment, improvements in the percentages of clients retained in treatment for 12 weeks or more, improved waiting times, and other locally relevant partnership performance expectations.

Draft treatment plans are submitted to NTA regional teams, who work with the DATs to refine these plans in the light of available resources, local assessments of need, and consultation with regional partners such as SHAs, the regional offender manager and public health bodies. The plans agreed with each DAT are used by the NTA to help monitor the progress of drug treatment at a local and regional level. The NTA fulfils the performance management role on these targets alongside the SHAs and other local and regional partners in performance managing the plans set by DAT partner organisations on targets, including those on numbers in treatment and client retention.

The monitoring of targets, though important, is part of a more complex performance management process. NTA teams work with partnerships to arrive at a better understanding of need using available data – determining treatment saturation (i.e. how many of those potentially in need of treatment are in the treatment system) and having a knowledge of treatment flow (i.e. numbers in treatment, retained in treatment and exiting treatment through planned exits from the system). A range of stakeholders, including service providers, and users and their carers, help to inform and define this process.

The NTA makes the first part of each DAT partnership’s adult drug treatment plan (Part 1: Strategic Summary, National Targets, Partnership Performance Expectations and Funding Profile) publicly available via its website, www.nta.nhs.uk.

8.2.4 NTA and Healthcare Commission Improvement Reviews

The NTA and Healthcare Commission Improvement Reviews will contribute to the performance management of drug treatment. These reviews use a range of data to rate DAT partnerships against specific criteria. This includes data from NDTMS, annual audit information, bespoke data compiled specifically for the review process, and other existing data sources (e.g. the NTA’s prescribing audit).

Each DAT partnership is sent a report with their performance scores and the detail behind them, from the assessment and scoring done by the NTA and the Healthcare Commission. The scoring is based on a range of data collected for the assessment framework and scores for each criterion are worked out by applying pre-determined rules.

For more on the process of Improvement Reviews, see section 9.2 and the NTA website www.nta.nhs.uk.


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

The DATs and healthcare organisations (around ten per cent) that have the weakest assessments will be asked to create action plans to address performance problems identified in the assessment, unless they already have convincing action plans in place. NTA regional teams will work with the Healthcare Commission and DATs to improve the performance of these DATs.

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