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Supporting you through the coronavirus pandemic

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Collective Voice will be doing everything it can over the coming weeks and months to support the sector at this challenging time. We know that you’re facing unprecedented pressures and will have major concerns about how to keep services running, provide proper care and look after your hard-working teams.

Please know that we are already looking for practical solutions. We’ve convened a fortnightly meeting of leaders from our field’s infrastructure type bodies (Adfam, Alcohol Change UK, Making Every Adult Matter, NHS Substance Misuse Providers Alliance and SMMGP) to share intelligence and collaborate.

We’ve submitted evidence to the Treasury Committee about the financial challenges we are facing, as well as speaking to the Association of Directors of Public Health and Public Health England about the issue of new contracts coming out to tender at this time of crisis when all resource must be focused on the wellbeing of service users and staff. We will update you on these issues – and others – as soon as we have more to share.

But one thing that’s clear is that we all want to provide a continuity of care, and make sure that the people who use our services receive the support and treatment they deserve. Of course, the way we provide support will face challenges and change as we adjust to issues such as self-isolation and social distancing. There will also be concerns regarding the availability of staff and how teams can best be supported.

With this in mind, we have reviewed and collated currently available relevant advice and information. We will update these resources whenever new information becomes available, so please keep checking back. You can also keep up to date by following us Twitter.

But we also want to hear from you.  Collective Voice is here to represent you and by telling us about your experiences you can help us identify important issues, seek sector-wide solutions, raise issues with Public Health England and respond effectively to media enquiries. They will also help us to formulate our messages to government as we strive to ensure that the sector continues to be a priority for policy-makers.

You might be moving to telephone contact with the people who use your services, for example. Or you may have an innovative way of providing care and support. You may also have concerns about the delivery of core treatment and recovery services, or the ability of service users to stay socially connected. Whatever your concerns or suggestions, please keep in touch with us throughout this crisis. You can do this by emailing Peter or dropping us a line on Twitter.

If you work for a small treatment and recovery provider and would like some help and advice around Coronavirus preparations, we will try our best to connect you with a larger organisation who can share their expertise with you. Again, please email us.

Our mission is to support the field during this time of crisis – and we’re taking it seriously.

What should I do now?

  • Read the latest guidance and resources for the sector
  • If you are having problems obtaining supplies of essential personal protective equipment (PPE) and hand sanitising gel, you can call the NHS supply disruption number: 0800 915 9964.
  • Drug and alcohol treatment workers are designated as keyworkers, meaning their staff members’ children qualify for childcare at school. Read the guidance and access a template letter you can issue to staff.
  • A Slack channel has been created for information-sharing across the treatment and recovery field
  • The Cabinet Office has released guidance on public procurement during the COVID-19 outbreak. We believe all resource should be focused on staff and service user wellbeing during the crisis and now isn’t the time to procure new services. We are interested to hear if contracts for substance misuse services are still being tendered. Please let us know by emailing Oliver.

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Collective Voice is the national charity working to improve England’s drug and alcohol treatment and recovery systems