National Treatment Agency has claimed it is already addressing the
difficulties drug misusers face in obtaining access to treatment
highlighted in last week’s Audit Commission report Changing
Habits (News, page 10, 28 February).
agency has already established “challenging waiting times targets”
which it will be monitoring at a local level. The average waiting
time for in-patient detoxification was 6.1 weeks in 1999-2000, with
a target of two weeks by 2004. Waiting time for community
prescribing by a specialist must be reduced to three weeks from
10.2 weeks by 2004.
addition, a co-ordinated system of treatment delivery is being
piloted in eight areas, to integrate all the support services
required by someone undergoing treatment, including aftercare and
housing as well as clinical drug treatment.
agency is also promoting a “shared care approach” to enable GPs to
work more effectively with specialist services and drug users in
their areas, and is working with the Royal College of General
Practitioners to develop better training in substance misuse