The First Minister made a statement to parliament on 20 January 2021 which set out a National Mission to reduce drug deaths by listening and learning from those with lived experience and improving treatment and other support services. Five priorities were set out along with £5 million of additional funding for 2020-21 and a further £50 million per annum for the next five years. The expectation is that this funding will flow, primarily via ADPs, to grassroots and community organisations to effect the change needed.
The five priorities set out by the First Minister include:
- fast and appropriate access to treatment;
- access to residential rehabilitation;
- increased capacity of front-line, often third sector, organisations;
- a more joined-up approach providing proactive support following a non-fatal overdose; and
- overcoming the barriers to introducing overdose prevention facilities.
Previously, the working group on Residential Rehabilitation, chaired by David McCartney, published a mapping report which set out to better understand the current residential rehabilitation landscape in Scotland. This report found that there were least 365 residential rehabilitation beds/ placements available in Scotland, across the 18 facilities surveyed. This report served primarily as scene setting exercise, and did not explore how this total capacity was being used. Since this report, additional residential rehabilitation facilities have been identified and so there is a need to update the estimate of total beds/placements in Scotland.
The priorities set out by the First Minister reflect the need to:
1. better understand the overall total capacity of residential placements;
2. understand how current capacity within residential rehabilitation is being utilised; and
3. explore way in which to increase capacity.
This report is a result of a rapid follow-up survey of providers and aims to provide an improved estimate of total residential placement capacity in Scotland and to better understand how this capacity is currently being used.