Ahead of the Comprehensive Spending Review announcements on 25 November Collective Voice has produced a briefing setting out our position.
Recent media stories suggest that the public health grant will not be given the protection that other parts of the health system have been promised by the government. Should this be the case, we believe that it will not only impact indirectly on the NHS and other, more expensive public services, but will have a direct impact on the NHS.
The NHS provides roughly half of drug treatment in England and about 40% of alcohol treatment and young people’s treatment, and where these services are provided by third sector organisations this includes the hundreds of doctors and nurses employed to deliver clinical services.
The briefing shows how drug and alcohol treatment impacts on the level of crime that we experience as communities – with analysis from the Home Office suggesting that drug treatment led to a fall in crime of 30% in the last 15 years – and that reducing that investment is likely to see further burdens on the police, courts, prisons and NHS. The briefing argues that reducing the capacity of the sector to respond to the levels of need that we already see will mean that other government priorities and manifesto commitments will be more difficult to achieve.
Should there be significant reductions in the amount of available investment the briefing suggests that the recent upward trend in drug related deaths is likely to continue, and that fewer people are likely to recover from their addiction.
Download the briefing here.