Drug Treatment Services

Oral Answers to Questions — Health – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 10th October 2017.

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Photo of Jeff Smith Jeff Smith Opposition Whip (Commons) 12:00 am, 10th October 2017

What assessment he has made of the advice of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs on the level of funding for drug treatment services.

Photo of Steve Brine Steve Brine The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

We thank the ACMD for its report, and we take its advice seriously. Discussions will happen across Government, and we will respond fully in due course in the usual way.

Photo of Jeff Smith Jeff Smith Opposition Whip (Commons)

The ACMD says:

“England had built a world class drug treatment system… This system is now being dismantled due to reductions in resources.”

More than 100 local authorities have had to reduce spending on addiction services this year as a result of Government cuts. Will that reduction in addiction treatment budgets not just cost the NHS more in the long term?

Photo of Steve Brine Steve Brine The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

The Government are already investing £16 billion in public health services over the spending review period. We made it a condition of the public health grant that local authorities have regard to the need to improve the take-up and outcomes of their drug and alcohol services. Local authorities are best placed to make those decisions. The investment in effective services means that the average waiting time is just three days and, according to our monitoring systems, treatment outcomes in Greater Manchester are generally better than or in line with the rest of England.