National Drugs Mission Plan: 2022-2026

Update on National Mission to reduce drug deaths and improve the lives of those impacted by drugs.

6. Governance, data and funding

Delivering on this ambitious plan will require us to work with key partners across public policy and beyond. This includes robust governance structures, partnership working with delivery bodies, high quality data and transparent funding decisions.

6.1 National Mission Governance

The National Mission must be delivered nationally and locally and the National Mission Oversight Group will bring together a range of experts on a quarterly basis to provide challenge to ministers and the wider system, identify gaps in the National Mission plan and highlight examples of world-leading approaches from other countries.

Local accountability for the provision of drug treatment services sits with Integration Authorities as set out in the partnership delivery framework. Scottish Government and COSLA also agreed on eight recommendations last year to further improve the governance and accountability of alcohol and drug partnerships.

6.2 Delivery landscape

People with drug problems often experience a range of needs and require support from more than one service, consequently lines of accountability can be complex. Integration Authorities are responsible for the planning and delivery of alcohol and drug services, however they need to work in partnership through ADPs to develop person-centred services.

We need to see improvements delivered at pace we therefore expect chief officers of Integration authorities and the chief executives of the Health Boards and Local authorities to take a shared and visible responsibility for delivery of the National Mission at the local level, specifically with respect to the implementation of the MAT Standards.

We will continue to engage with local areas to improve accountability for alcohol and drug services and we have issued a self-assessment tool to enable local areas to assess and improve their own accountability arrangements. This will include the oversight arrangements needed from Integration Joint Board Chief Officers to deliver targets and other expectations. We will be working with Chief Officers for Public Protection so that they play a key role in ensuring lessons from drug death reviews lead to change. We are also working with Directors of Public Health and Public Health Scotland have introduced a new National Incident Management Team which embeds a multi-agency public health approach to drug deaths and harms. We will also encourage greater accountability through Lived and Living Experience panels.

National support for quality improvement is provided through the MAT Implementation Support Team (MIST) to help local areas improve models of care and with the support of Health Improvement Scotland.

The National Collaborative for people with Lived Experience will contribute to developing monitoring and accountability mechanisms based on the internationally recognised human rights to be included in the forthcoming Human Rights Bill. The Collaborative will provide a mechanism for holding the Government (both locally and nationally) to account for making sure that people who use drugs can participate in decision-making which affects them.

The delivery of outreach, support and treatment services is not limited to the public sector. Third sector organisations – including our nationally commissioned organisations – provide vital expertise and services to support those with substance use problems and their families. This includes peer-led delivery of services and maintaining recovery communities. The Scottish Government will continue to partner with and support these critical organisations.

6.3 Monitoring and Evaluation

The Scottish Government recognises the importance of effective monitoring and evaluation to the delivery of long term outcomes. The collection of timely data allows us to monitor progress, understand what is driving improvements and make changes where appropriate. While there are a number of evaluation projects already in development for specific interventions or projects, there is a need for us to understand and report on the performance of the National Mission as a whole.

We will increase transparency by working with Public Health Scotland and others to publish data on our progress against the National Mission. This includes the development of a new drug treatment target focussed on increasing the number of people in protective opioid substitution therapy. It will also build on the existing reports and data on the delivery of the MAT standards and residential rehabilitation services. This data will enable us to foster a greater degree of accountability at both local and national level.

Scottish Government will produce an annual report for the National Mission. We commit to making the underlying data available for scrutiny and ensuring the national mission advisory group are able to review the report prior to publication.

We are also working with partners such as Public Health Scotland to improve data quality and timeliness (such as through the Drug and Alcohol Information System); explore opportunities for data linkage so that we can better understand holistic needs, and publish a comprehensive evaluation framework.

6.4 Funding

In 2021, the First Minister announced a boost of £250 million to support the delivery of the National Mission over the 5-year lifespan. This equates to an additional £50 million a year, of this an additional £20 million per year going to ADPs, and the further £30 million being available to support grassroots initiatives, implementation of MAT Standards and work with nationally funding organisations.

Information on funding allocation is available through various publications, parliamentary statements and new releases. We will provide annual financial reports in the annual report published in Autumn to improve transparency and show the direction and impact of the funding committed.



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