Drive to improve drug treatment8th May 2008
A health watchdog has highlighted the need for improvements in some areas of drug addiction treatment.
In a review of 149 local drug partnerships in England, the Healthcare Commission found that there were areas that did not have adequate understanding of local need.
It particularly highlighted how access to testing and treatment for hepatitis C, where the majority of cases are associated with injecting drugs, was patchy across the county.
The commission called for a continued drive to improve drug addiction treatment to ensure services are delivered consistently across the country.
Its report, drawn up with the National Treatment Agency (NTA), revealed results from the second of three annual reviews to assess the performance of substance misuse treatment services.
It showed the number of people receiving specialist drug treatment has increased dramatically, with 195,400 in treatment during 2006/07 - up from 85,000 in 1998/99.
Estimates for 2007/08 show 210,800 people will receive treatment.
Healthcare Commission chief executive Anna Walker said that with the UK having one of the highest recorded drug-related death rates in Europe, it was encouraging that thousands more people were now getting the treatment they needed.
But the areas of concern remained over hepatitis C and access to clean needles.
She added: â€œPartnerships must now concentrate on driving improvements in the key areas highlighted by the review, in order to provide an equal service to all patients across the country. It is also important that partnerships really understand the needs in their area for these services and provide them accordingly.â€?
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Title: Drive to improve drug treatment
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 6663
Date Added: 8th May 2008