Drug Deaths Taskforce response: cross government approach

Cross government response to the Drug Deaths Taskforce report, Changing Lives. It contains a cross government action plan, response to Taskforce recommendations and a stigma action plan.

15. Availability of information

Taskforce Recommendation: Transparent and accessible information is critical not only for effective delivery and enhancing the experience of people who engage with services, but also for scrutiny and trust. The Scottish Government should work with Public Health Scotland to review the information collected and optimise public health surveillance to further develop the early warning system. It should create a single platform for individuals accessing information on drugs, services and monitoring that should enable local areas to be held to account.

We have committed to publishing an annual report for the National Mission. The first report on year one was published on 21 November 2022[58] and includes details of the monitoring and evaluation approach and details of funding.

We have also supported additional investment in Public Health Scotland (PHS) to improve reporting and analysis ensuring the new treatment database – the Drug and Alcohol Information System (DAISy) reaches its full potential.

We are working with PHS around the development of RADAR (Rapid Action Drug Alerts and Response), Scotland's drugs early warning system. RADAR provides a structured way to collect, assess and communicate information about drugs, identifying risks quickly and informing rapid action to reduce harm and save lives. RADAR continues to be developed through three multi-agency groups including: a Development Group formed of communication, data and intervention subgroups that support system design and development; a Network that collects and shares drug trends and data, helps to validate information and processes outputs and communications; and an Assessment Group that studies data, assesses potential threats and decides on action to reduce harm[59].

This work is complemented by the introduction of publication of suspected drug deaths by the Scottish Government. This provides quarterly updates based on management information from Police Scotland data to provide as timely an indication of current trends in drug deaths in Scotland as is possible[60].

The Scottish Government will also work with partners to consider how best to consolidate existing key information in a more accessible format. However, differences in service delivery across localities pose challenges for effectively signposting relevant available services at a national level.


Email: Drugsmissiondeliveryteam@gov.scot

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