ESTABLISHMENT OF A ‘WATCHDOG’ FUNCTION FOR DRUG AND ALCOHOL TREATMENT COMMISSIONING
The coalition government has articulated a clear policy for the reform of the drug- and alcohol-treatment sector to make it less bureaucratic, and more focused on producing outcomes in terms of individuals’ recovery from addiction. There are real concerns about the extent to which this policy will be reflected in commissioning decisions of local budget holders. Primary Care Trusts and Local Authorities, through local commissioning partnerships, are now charged with reviewing the expenditure of over £1billion of public money, and ensuring that they remove waste, and introduce more opportunities for real recovery, into their local treatment systems.
In the absence of any government scrutiny mechanism, or disciplinary/whistleblower infrastructure, the Concordat proposes to establish an informal mechanism for assessing commissioners’ progress in this task, and for challenging examples of poor practice.
This will be a two-level approach in that the Concordat will first use all due diligence to establish good practice through effective communications with Commissioners, through a two-way process whereby we communicate to Commissioners what our expectations are around the use of Inpatient and Residential treatment and the benefits in terms of outcomes that its use offers them. At the same time, it will provide a channel through which purchasers can address their concerns about specific Concordat providers or Inpatient and Residential provision in general. Public feedback/whistle blowing and legal challenges will be used only where this first stage fails.
LAUNCH IN HOUSE OF COMMONS
14 SEPTEMBER 2011
Amber Rudd MP is kindly hosting the Concordat Watchdog launch.
The Rt Hon Lord Mancroft and Deirdre Boyd will reveal details.