Alcohol and drugs help in spotlight

HEALTH bosses are carrying out a full review of a specialist alcohol and substance misuse service as the current contract is coming to an end.

Primary care services are currently provided by Intrahealth to a registered patient list and to patients needing alcohol and substance misuse service and a violent patient service at two sites in Hartlepool, Wynyard Road and Whitby Street,

The current five-year contract is coming to an end next June and a full review is being carried out.

The provider of medical services contract deals with specialist alcohol and substance misuse services to about 800 patients.

A report highlighting the review was presented to Hartlepool Borough Council’s health scrutiny forum.

It said: “In reviewing the service, we need to consider all of the potential options for the future, in order to identify those which are feasible and ultimately to make a decision as to the best way forward.”

Options under “initial consideration” are to:

● Decommission the GP practice and the alcohol misuse service at Wynyard Road and the violent patient scheme and substance misuse service at Whitby Street;

● Extend the current contract for one year until June 30, 2014;

● Decommission the GP practice from Wynyard Road and the violent patient service from Whitby Street, and commission a specialist substance misuse and alcohol misuse service only, at a location to be decided;

● Decommission the specialist substance misuse and alcohol misuse service and commission a general practice with a violent patient service.

Other options include commissioning one practice to deliver services as well as delivering general medical care to patients without any alcohol or substance misuse issues or to commission two separate practices.

Current users of the service will be asked for their views about the service, the location, any improvements that can be made and any problems experienced.

Professionals, partners and other stakeholders will also be asked for their views.

A report to the meeting added: “NHS Hartlepool is committed to effectively involving patients, staff, partners, stakeholders and the public and using their views to inform the service review.”

The full service is being carried out on behalf of NHS Hartlepool by the North East Primary Care Services Agency (NEPCSA) and that is expected to be finished by November.

After that there could be a formal consultation process early in the new year.