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New drug and alcohol service for Norfolk

A new treatment and recovery service offering high quality, easily accessible help for people with drug and alcohol problems is to start across the county from Spring 2013.

The Norfolk Recovery Partnership (NRP) has been awarded a five-year contract to provide the fully integrated service for adults affected by drugs and alcohol from 1 April 2013. The partnership will see Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust and The Matthew Project provide joint services within the community, with RAPt (the Rehabilitation for Addicted Prisoners’ Trust) working within prisons at HMP Norwich, Wayland and Bure.

It will be the first time services across the whole county have been provided by one partnership, in turn ensuring that people with drug and alcohol problems can access a fair, equitable and coordinated service, regardless of where they live.

"We are delighted that our joint bid to deliver this important service was successful,” said Denise Grimes, service manager for Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust. “It provides us with a fantastic opportunity to work even more closely with our partners and commissioners at the Norfolk Drug and Alcohol Action Team to make a real difference to people with substance misuse problems.

“We have listened to feedback from services users and their families and have designed the service to be responsive and flexible as a result. This means we will be able to offer each individual a choice of interventions specially tailored to meet their particular needs so that they can start successfully managing their life without substances.”

The partnership will offer a menu of services which will include group work, talking therapies, non structured activities, substitute prescribing and development of life skills. The partnership will also explore the option of running services from different community locations to make them easier to access.

Rosalie Weetman, chief executive of The Matthew Project, said: “This contract gives us the opportunity to work even more closely with our partners to create a truly joined up, easily accessible service for adults.

“This will give service-users a smoother journey through the system while allowing us to be more responsive to their individual needs. This holistic approach will ensure we can offer the right services to the right people at the right time, helping build their recovery capital so that they can go on to live a successful life free from substances.”

Caroline Cole, development manager with RAPt, said: “This new partnership will ensure that offenders can receive a seamless service both during their sentence and following their release into the community. By placing an increasing focus on recovery and providing flexible, easily accessible services, we will help more people to move away from the cycle of addiction and crime.”

The Norfolk Drug and Alcohol Action Team part of Norfolk County Council Community Services works on behalf of the Norfolk Drug and Alcohol Partnership (N-DAP) to develop local drug and alcohol strategies and commission treatment and support services.

Shelagh Gurney, Cabinet Member for Adult and Community Services at the County Council, said: “This partnership will build on the good work that has already been done in Norfolk to help people overcome substance misuse. Having one contract for the adult treatment system in Norfolk will make it easier for people affected by drug and alcohol misuse to receive the help they need and ensure that the same support is available to people in all parts of the county.”

People will be able to self-refer into the open access service though a new website, by dropping into a recovery café or calling a 24/7 helpline. Further details will be available later in the autumn.​