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Home > Drug systems change pilots evaluation. Final report.

Callanan, Meg and Ranns, Helen and Turley, Caroline and Barnard, Matt and Hussey, David and Chanfreau, Jenny and Bowles, Roger [Home Office UK] . (2012) Drug systems change pilots evaluation. Final report. London: NatCen Social Research. 135 p.

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The Drug Systems Change pilot programme, funded jointly by the UK Department of Health and the Home Office, ran from 2009-2011. The aim was to test whether local drug and alcohol treatment partnerships could tailor services better, in response to local needs, if they were allowed more flexibility in how they used the range of funding streams available to them and were not constrained by central targets.

The 7 pilot sites investigated how they could redesign the commissioning and delivery of drug treatment and related social provision, both in prison and in community settings, adopting more user-led, outcome-focused approaches, and so improving the outcomes achieved by their service users.

A collaboration led by NatCen (National Centre for Social Research) was commissioned to evaluate the pilots. Chris Heffer, Deputy Director, Alcohol and Drugs, at the Department of Health, said: ‘with their focus on local innovation, recovery and continuity of care, the work undertaken by the 7 pilot sites fits well with current priorities.

The changes in practice they achieved required months of hard work and a good deal of intensive partnership collaboration.’

The evaluation report highlights:
 the challenges of system redesign
 the importance of partnership working in affecting change
 lessons in enhancing continuity of care
 implementing single points of assessment and personalised treatment budgets


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