The Quality Principles: Standard Expectations of Care and Support in Drug and Alcohol Services

The Quality Principles: Standard Expectations of Care and Support in Drug and Alcohol

Services have been developed to ensure anyone looking to address their problem drug

and/or alcohol use receives high-quality treatment and support that assists long-term,

sustained recovery and keeps them safe from harm.

Joint Ministerial Foreword

Photograph of Roseanna Cunningham and Michael Matheson

Whilst we have achieved huge success in reducing waiting times for alcohol and drug services in recent years, quick access to treatment is the least we can do. We now need to maintain this momentum and build upon it to ensure that people are accessing services that are high quality and deliver positive outcomes for individuals, their families and communities. That is why the Scottish Government has developed an alcohol and drugs quality improvement framework to ensure quality in the provision of care, treatment and recovery services, as well as quality in the data that will evidence the outcomes people are achieving.

The Quality Principles are the first step towards making the quality improvement framework a reality, setting out what people can expect when they access a drug and alcohol treatment or support service in Scotland. At their heart is a person-centred, holistic, recovery-focussed approach where services and those seeking to address their problematic substance use work in partnership to achieve agreed outcomes.

The Quality Principles build on the work that Scottish Government, Alcohol and Drug Partnerships and services are already undertaking to improve the quality of services across Scotland. They also contribute to our efforts to address the recommendations of the recent independent expert review's report on opioid replacement therapies, Delivering Recovery, published in August 2013. This report highlighted the difference in the quality of services that people receive and asked for the development of a complete system of care, also known as a recovery-oriented system of care, to be made a priority.

Whilst developing these quality principles, the Scottish Government has consulted extensively with a range of partners including; local Alcohol and Drug Partnerships, service providers, voluntary organisations, NHS Boards and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA). Most importantly we sought the views of people currently in services and those in longer-term recovery - these perspectives have been invaluable in helping shape the Quality Principles into what you see here. We thank you all for your contribution.

We are aware that there is already a great deal of work taking place across Scotland to develop Recovery Oriented Systems of Care. We look forward to seeing this work progress between Government and local partners to implement and embed these Quality Principles in service planning, design and delivery with the Scottish Government's improvement methodology driving that change.

Roseanna Cunningham
Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs

Michael Matheson
Minister for Public Health


Email: Hilary Smith

Back to top