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Recovery Partnership: State of the Sector 2015

In late 2013 DrugScope, on behalf of the Recovery Partnership, conducted the first State of the Sector survey, the findings of which were reported in January 2014.
Consultation for the second report followed a year later, being published in early 2015 .

This, the third State of the Sector report, has been produced by Adfam on behalf of the Recovery Partnership and draws on an online survey and series of telephone interviews conducted between September and December 2015. It uses the findings from a substantial online survey and a series of interviews with senior figures in the sector to evaluate the experiences of community drug and alcohol treatment services in England.

1. Key points
The 2015 State of the Sector survey for adult community and residential services includes responses from 176 services from across England. A survey of prison drug and alcohol services has also been conducted as part of the project. This will be published at a later date as an annexe to this report.

Over three times as many community services (40 services or 38%) reported a decrease in funding compared to those reporting an increase (12 services or 11%).
Of residential services, six times as many (18 or 58%) reported a decrease in funding compared to those reporting an increase (3 or 10%). A significant proportion from both categories stated ‘no change’. Commissioning cycles and contract length 44% of services had been through tendering or contract re-negotiation in the previous year. Half (49%) expected to go through one of these processes during the year ahead.

The delivery of services
• A quarter (26%) of services reported an increase of 10% or more in numbers of clients accessing services and 8% reported a decrease of the same size.
• Beyond addressing substance use itself, respondents indicated that the most significant support needs service users experience included issues around self-esteem, physical and mental health, employment support, and financial support and advice.
• A fifth of respondents feel that access to mental health services and housing/ housing support has worsened over the last year – indicating that better joined-up support for people with dual diagnosis and multiple and complex needs is still required.
• 61% respondents were confident that their service has the skills, knowledge and support to engage with the new naloxone legislation which came into force in October 2015.
• At least 86% of respondents employ people with lived experience of the treatment system (known as “recovery champions”, “peer supporters” etc). 68% actively recruit people with lived experience of treatment as paid employees and 94% recruit former service users as volunteers.