Scottish Ministerial Advisory Committee on Alcohol Problems (SMACAP) Essential Services Working Group: Quality Alcohol Treatment and Support (QATS)

This report was published in March 2011.

“This report delivers on a key commitment within Changing Scotland’s Relationship with Alcohol: A Framework for Action – to establish a subgroup of the Scottish Ministerial Advisory Committee for Alcohol Problems ( SMACAP) to update core services on alcohol treatment and support.

The report builds on existing guidance contained both within the Alcohol Problems Support and Treatment Framework (2002) and the Scottish Advisory Committee on Drugs Misuse ( SACDM) Essential Care report (2008) and continues to advocate for a stepped care, tiered approach to alcohol treatment and support.

The target audience for this report ranges from policy makers to those involved in frontline delivery including: Community Planning Partnerships ( CPPs), NHS Chief Executives, Alcohol and Drug Partnerships ( ADPs), service planners and commissioners, clinical leads and specialist alcohol treatment and support services. Representatives from these groups, in addition to services users and people in recovery, were consulted with throughout and played a key role in the development of the report recommendations.

Key recommendations are outlined to be actioned by Scottish Government, ADPs, service commissioners and specialist alcohol treatment and support services. Many of the issues covered and recommendations highlighted will also apply to drug treatment and support.

This report focuses on tier 3 and 4 alcohol treatment and support services and advocates for a person-centred, recovery-focused approach, ensuring the unique needs of individuals are identified and met. It does not provide tailored guidance for the needs of specific priority groups.

The recently launched Healthcare Quality Strategy for Scotland (2010) has informed this report, most notably the importance of person-centred treatment and support and the focus on outcomes. Quality alcohol treatment and support is part of the spectrum of treatment services that NHS Boards, ADPs and their partners commission/provide to meet the person-centred and Quality Ambitions embedded in the Quality Strategy. We are mindful that many specialist alcohol services have been incorporating these ambitions for some time but the recommendations within this report seek to strengthen this approach and improve consistency of service planning and delivery throughout Scotland, meeting required standards and effective practice.

Key recommendations, highlighted throughout the report, for delivery by the Scottish Government, Alcohol and Drug Partnerships and specialist alcohol services, are set out below. If these recommendations are achieved and embedded in practice it is anticipated that people affected by the problematic use of alcohol will receive improved support and outcomes as a result.”

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