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Drug services in England and Wales: a survey of treatment providers and their medical leads

  • Nick Airey (a1) and Stuart McLaren (a2)
Abstract
Aims and Method

We undertook a postal questionnaire survey of drug action teams in England and Wales with the aim of clarifying the nature of statutory specialist drug services.

Results

Of 159 drug action teams, 110 (69%) responded; 64 (58%) reported that mental health trusts exclusively provided their specialist drug services. Other providers were primary care and acute trusts, the non-statutory sector and social services. The majority of medical leads were psychiatrists (123 senior posts with 20% vacant/occupied by a locum), then general practitioners (GPs) (42) and other specialists (4).

Clinical Implications

Specialist drug services are offered by a range of treatment providers, with the medical lead being taken by GPs and other specialists in some areas. In view of the current difficulty in recruiting psychiatrists, we propose that alternative training pathways are considered for addiction specialists.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
References
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Central Drugs Co-Ordination Unit (1995) Tackling Drugs Together, a Strategy for England 1995–98. London: TSO (The Stationery Office).
Department of Health (2002) Models of Care for Substance Misuse Treatment Promoting Quality, Efficiency and Effectiveness in Drug Misuse Treatment Services. London: Department of Health.
Royal College of Psychiatrists (2002) Annual Census of Psychiatric Staffing 2001 (Occasional Paper OP54). London: Royal College of Psychiatrists.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Drug services in England and Wales: a survey of treatment providers and their medical leads

  • Nick Airey (a1) and Stuart McLaren (a2)
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