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.

17. Drug death review groups

Taskforce Recommendation: The Scottish Government should produce guidance on the operation of drug-death review groups, setting the expectation that these groups review every death to learn lessons and that these are reported directly to the Chief Officers Group along with defined actions.

While all ADPs carry out drug death reviews[61], the Scottish Government agrees that the work of, and outputs from, drug death reviews needs to be more consistent across the country.

Public Health Scotland have taken forward work to assess the current processes in place in local areas around the operation of drug death review groups and to gauge consistency across the country. This included attending a range of drug death review groups along with interviewing those involved, to understand the processes and what approaches have been found to be effective.

Building on this learning from PHS, along with work already done to establish child and vulnerable adult case reviews, work is underway within Scottish Government to develop guidance around the operation of these groups which will be finalised early in 2023. This guidance will ensure wider learning and recommendations are routinely shared with Chief Officers along with ADPs and local services. The Scottish Government is also exploring the development of a national framework for the operation of these groups and this will form part of that wider guidance.


Email: Drugsmissiondeliveryteam@gov.scot

Back to top