Drugs: Rehabilitation

Health written question – answered on 1st February 2012.

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Photo of Margot James Margot James Conservative, Stourbridge

To ask the Secretary of State for Health with reference to his proposal that Public Health England should be given responsibility for all drug recovery budgets, what plans he has to confer on Public Health England a duty to reduce (a) reoffending and (b) crime rates.

Photo of Anne Milton Anne Milton The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

The Department is working closely with the Ministry of Justice, the Home Office and other partners to help manage the transition to new public health and criminal justice arrangements. This is overseen by a cross-Government Health and Criminal Justice Programme Board and an Offender Substance Misuse Board.

Subject to parliamentary approval local authorities will be responsible for commissioning drug treatment services in the new public health system. Funding for this will come from a public health ring-fenced grant. Giving local authorities responsibility for commissioning drug and alcohol prevention and recovery orientated treatment services will bring together treatment provision and the wide range of local services that help promote and sustain recovery. This will help reduce health risks and cut crime and make our society safer. These goals are reflected in the Public Health outcomes framework published on 23 January 2012 which includes indicators on completion of drug treatment, reoffending, as well as a number of related indicators. Local areas will determine how they wish to improve outcomes in these areas based on the joint assessment of local needs.

Further, Public Health England will be established as an executive agency of the Department. Its role will be to support local commissioners with expert advice, evidence and management information including outcomes and value for money data. This will help promote effective prevention and treatment services integrated with local health, crime, housing and employment agencies.

Subject to parliamentary approval, the responsibility for commissioning substance misuse treatment services people in prison and other places of prescribed detention will lie with the National Health Service Commissioning Board, under an agreement between the Secretary of State and the NHS Commissioning Board.

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