NTA UPDATE ON COMPETENCE
Targets will be scrapped
As the new National Drug Strategy is being developed, the National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse, in partnership with other central government stakeholders, has reviewed its approach to workforce issues.
“We will not be setting new targets when the current ones end in April 2008,” stated the NTA. “But it remains our ambition that all drug treatment-sector staff and managers have a recognised competency assessed or professional qualification appropriate to their role and are pursuing relevant continuous development.
“Over the past few years, the workforce has expanded to increase capacity and access to treatment – which thousands of clients now benefit from. But an unintended consequence was that, in some areas, workforce issues were detached from joint-commissioning commissioning (purchasing) activity. This needs to change. After all, if a partnership identifies problems such as low retention or difficulty in engaging certain groups (for example crack users), the solution is likely to lie in the workforce.
The NTA wants commissioners and services to build a workforce which is “fully competent and able to demonstrate its competence in line with the joint NTA/Home Office Workforce Development Plan. The needs assessment and treatment planning guidance 08/09 encourages partnerships to consider workforce implications. The NTA is also combining workforce monitoring with the upcoming Unit Costing exercise, so commissioners and providers factor workforce into their thinking when making decisions on allocating resources.
NTA lead: treatment delivery manager Colin Bradbury on 020-7261 8835.