Home > HSE outlines plans for drug and alcohol services in 2009.

Pike, Brigid (2009) HSE outlines plans for drug and alcohol services in 2009. Drugnet Ireland, Issue 29, Spring 2009, pp. 10-11.

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The Health Service Executive's National Service Plan 2009 (NSP) contains the agency's plans in the drugs and alcohol area during 2009.1 HSE Addiction Services, including both illicit drugs and alcohol, are delivered as part of Social Inclusion Services, which, in turn, are part of the Primary, Community and Continuing Care (PCCC) directorate.  The table below summarises the key result areas for 2009 together with the outputs delivered in 2008 and the deliverables for 2009.

'Key result areas' are a new element in the HSE's annual service plan. They have resulted in a rationalisation and reduction in the number of action lines in the addiction services area. Just three key result areas are identified: enhancement of addiction services, development of the National Drugs Strategy, and the mainstreaming of health-related drugs task force projects.2
 Addiction Services in 2009 (after HSE NSP 2009: 49)
Key result area
Output 2008
Deliverable 2009
Enhancement of addiction services
(Progress implementation of the recommendations of the 2007 report of the Working Group on Drugs Rehabilitation.)
Regional addiction plans developed
Recruitment of Rehabilitation Co-ordinator under way
Development of National Rehabilitation Implementation Committee under way
Further development of multi-disciplinary teams for provision of services to under-18 year-olds. This will facilitate the further development of harm reduction services, including needle exchange and methadone services.
Implementation of the Rehabilitation Strategy (to include appointment of co-ordinator)
Addiction services training programme
Development of new National Drugs Strategy (NDS)
HSE / Department of Health and Children submission to NDS review.
Planning undertaken for implementation of HSE components of the new National Drugs Strategy 2009 – 2013
National Drugs Task Force
Mainstreaming process agreed with the Departments of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs and Health and Children
Progression of mainstreaming of 169 local drugs task forces (LDTFs) as appropriate, starting from April onwards.

The performance information framework used in the HSE has also been refined. In the addiction services area, one measure of 'activity' and two indicators of 'performance' have been identified. The figures indicate that, nationally, the level of activity in the addiction services area increased in 2008 and this new level is due to be maintained in 2009, but the level of performance is expected to remain static at 2007 levels. The 2009 performance target for treatment of substance misusers aged under 18 is based on baseline data collected in 2008.  

  • Activity - the average number of clients in methadone treatment per month per area: In 2008 the national target was to maintain throughput at the 2007 level of 7,000 clients. In the event, throughput in 2008 reached 7,636 and the HSE expects to reach this level of activity again in 2009.
  • Performance - the number and percentage of substance misusers for whom treatment, as deemed appropriate, commenced within one calendar month: In 2008 the national target was to exceed the 84% (n=1,406) performance level achieved in 2007. In the event, the 2007 level was attained but not exceeded, and this same level of 84% has been set as the target for 2009.
  • Performance - the number of substance misusers under 18 years of age for whom treatment, as deemed appropriate, commenced within one calendar month: No target was set for this indicator in 2008 as the staff to develop services for under-18s were only appointed during 2008. However, data collected in 2008 showed that 88% (n=106) of substance misusers under the age of 18 commenced suitable treatment within a calendar month. This performance level has been set as the target for 2009.
The breakdown of performance by HSE region, also published in the plan, reveals variations, with the regions around Dublin performing below par. Regarding commencement of treatment for substance misusers in 2008, the Southern Region exceeded the national target by over 10% at 96% (n=547), while the combined Dublin/North East and Dublin/Mid-Leinster regions only achieved a performance level of 64% (n=510). Regarding commencement of treatment for under-18s, the target timeframe of one calendar month was achieved 100% by both the Southern (n=53) and Western (n=30) regions, but the combined Dublin/North East and Dublin/Mid-Leinster regions only achieved a level of 62% (n=23). These regional performance targets have been rolled over for 2009.
 Under the heading of 'Improving our infrastructure', the service plan lists two capital works in the Dublin/Mid-Leinster Region, which, it states, are to be commissioned and in place before the end of 2009 and which can be funded within the HSE's 2009 allocation:
  • Clondalkin: new purpose-built addiction centre providing psychiatry, GP, counselling, pharmacy, nursing, psychology and family therapy services; and
  • Pearse Street: refurbishment and upgrade of the Drug Treatment Centre.
 1. Health Service Executive (2008) National Service Plan 2009. Available at www.hse.ie  
2.  For accounts of previous HSE Service Plans, see B Pike (2007) HSE outlines plans for drug-related services in 2007. Drugnet Ireland. (22): 5-7; B Pike (2008) HSE outlines plans for drug and alcohol services in 2008. Drugnet Ireland. (25): 9-10.
Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, Open Access, Article
Drug Type
All substances
Issue Title
Issue 29, Spring 2009
Page Range
pp. 10-11
Health Research Board
Issue 29, Spring 2009
Accession Number
HRB (Available)

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