Drug Misuse Treatment

Health written question – answered on 18th November 2004.

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Photo of Gary Streeter Gary Streeter Conservative, South West Devon

To ask the Secretary of State for Health

(1) what assessment he has made of the impact of the closure of the Harbour Drug and Alcohol Service in Plymouth to new clients until April 2005 on the treatment of patients with addiction problems;

(2) what the waiting time is in Plymouth for a person suffering from drug or alcohol addiction to receive treatment; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Rosie Winterton Rosie Winterton The Minister of State, Department of Health

The Department has not made an assessment of the impact of the changes to the Harbour Drug and Alcohol Service. It is the responsibility of primary care trusts, working with the local drug and alcohol action teams, to plan and develop local drug and alcohol services and ensure that these meet local needs. The Harbour Drug and Alcohol Service is not closing, but I understand that a decision was made recently to temporarily suspend the specialist prescribing service on the ground of clinical safety.

The latest available information on waiting times for drug treatment in Plymouth is shown in the table. The Department does not hold information on waiting times for alcohol services.

Waiting time (weeks)
Inpatient 12
Residential rehabilitation 2
Specialist prescribing 0.2
General practitioner prescribing 0.8
Day care 1
Structured counselling 0.2


National Treatment Agency.

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