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.

20. Funding fit for a Public Health Emergency

Taskforce Recommendation: The Taskforce is clear that while the increase in funding is welcome, it does not go far enough to deliver transformational change. Funding must be increased, targeted to where it is needed most and monitored effectively, and should foster collaboration across Government and local services. Funding should also be committed in a long-term, sustainable manner that is ringfenced to guarantee it is spent where intended. Some services are better funded centrally and delivered either regionally or nationally. As part of the National Specification, the Scottish Government should outline the services it will commission nationally, ensuring that all areas can access the services they need.

At the launch of the National Mission in 2021, the First Minister committed to an additional £250 million to support the mission over the lifetime of the parliament. This is £50 million extra a year to deliver objectives of the National Mission. Funding to tackle problem substance use as announced in the 2023-24 Health Budget[64], now totals £160.1 million, including the additional £50 million. This represents an increase of £13.6 million against 2022-23, and is due to further investment in the National Mission including £12 million which has been made available to deliver actions in the Cross Government Action Plan.

This funding has in part been drawn from underspends in previous years to ensure that we deliver on our commitment to invest £250 million on the National Mission. The remaining £1.6 million increase covers portfolio operating costs for drug and alcohol staff which was previously held centrally. In addition, initiatives outlined in the sections above, demonstrate how different parts of government are refocussing their work to ensure that people who use drugs are supported.

Much of the National Mission funding is offered on a multi-year basis to provide long term support and assurance for delivery partners, as well as promoting transformational change. We have committed £65 million over the duration of the mission to support third sector and grassroots organisations directly. This funding is accessible in collaboration with applicants local ADPs to ensure that approaches across all sectors are collective and effective in meeting the objectives of the mission. ADPs can support their local third sector and grassroots organisations to receive this funding in line with the requirements for treatment and recovery system set out in the annual funding letters. This is part of our efforts towards developing a national specification as noted in section 11.

We are also increasing and improving the reporting structure to ensure better monitoring and evaluation through ADPs and core funded organisations. This reporting ensures we can make funding available to respond to a public health emergency, as well as monitoring its effectiveness and reach.

The development of a Charter of Rights by the National Collaborative will be accompanied by an Implementation Framework setting out how the right to health and other rights within the forthcoming Human Rights Bill can be practically applied. This may include things such as workforce development, the development of models of practice, complaints procedures and independent advocacy. The charter and implementation framework will be used to drive strategic funding decisions.

We are also working to ensure that people affected by substance use are effectively and meaningfully involved in all stages of local decision making, from design to delivery as well as scrutiny and accountability. This is both at a local level through funding to ADPs and nationally through organisations like SDF, SFAD and SRC.

The funding for the Cross Government Plan is outlined below.

Table 1: Specific funding for projects outlined in the Cross Government plan (£millions)
22/23 23/24 24/25 25/26 Total
Primary Care: Enhanced Services £10.00 £10.00 £10.00 £30.0
Concessionary Travel (estimate) £0.50 £0.5
Workforce £0.50 £0.50 £0.50 £0.50 £2.0
Addiction Worker Training Programme £0.48 £0.48 £0.48 £1.4
Stigma Action plan £0.10 £1.40 £1.40 £1.40 £4.3
SFAD Grow Your Own Routes programme £0.25 £1.25 £1.25 £1.25 £4.0
Stabilisation – Placements £3.00 £3.00 £3.00 £3.00 £12.0
Stabilisation – Capacity £2.00 £2.00 £2.00 £6.0
Mental Health and Substance Use £1.07 £0.66 £0.66 £2.4
Planet Youth Acceleration 0.75 £0.75 £1.5
Trauma Training £1.10 £1.10 £1.10 £3.3
Additional smaller scale projects £0.20 £0.20 £0.20 £0.20 £0.8
Total £4.05 £22.25 £21.34 £20.59 £68.2


Email: Drugsmissiondeliveryteam@gov.scot

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