Rights, respect and recovery: alcohol and drug treatment strategy

Scotland’s strategy to improve health by preventing and reducing alcohol and drug use, harm and related deaths.

Chapter 2: Delivering in Partnership

1. Delivering the best health outcomes possible for people can only be done effectively in partnership. The success of this strategy depends on our ability to take an asset-based approach to working together to plan, invest and deliver in partnership.

Our partnership responsibilities

2. To ensure and show that we are working together, all those with responsibility for achieving the best possible outcomes will sign up to an overarching Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

3. This MoU will be a joint statement of intent to deliver this strategy as well as being the framework within which we will all operate. The MoU will set out our respective roles a governance and accountability structure which will provide the general public, partners, Public Health Scotland, and Scottish Ministers with assurance on the quality of services and our performance.

Investing in partnership

4. Delivering in partnership requires continued investment from the Scottish Government and other partners. The Scottish Government is committed to continuing to fund prevention, treatment and recovery activities, building on the £746 million it has invested since 2008. In A Nation with Ambition[4] the Scottish Ministers announced a commitment of £20 million per year until 2021 in treatment and support services. This investment will continue to be passed to local areas to work in partnership through Alcohol and Drug Partnerships.

5. The Scottish Government will also continue to invest in national organisations active in alcohol and drug initiatives. These organisations all play hugely important roles in developing and supporting policy change. The critical role of Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems (SHAAP) and Alcohol Focus Scotland (AFS) advocating for in minimum unit pricing is a key example of that as it their work on alcohol availability and attractiveness more broadly. All of the national commissioned organisations can and do play a role in connecting policymakers, service commissioners, and providers to people with expertise and lived experience.

6. The Scottish Drug Forum’s (SDF) role in considering how services and cultures can support or hinder harm reduction is hugely important, as is the Scottish Recovery Consortium’s (SRC) role in supporting and championing recovery communities across Scotland. The work of Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol and Drugs’ (SFAD) in supporting families living with the harms associated with drugs and alcohol is a part of a national response that this strategy looks to strengthen, and Crew’s work in having honest, realistic conversations resonates with the developments in education, within Chapter 4 on Prevention and Early Intervention.

Planning in Partnership

7. The majority of the commitments in this strategy are not in themselves detailed actions. Whilst some actions have been identified, we will coproduce clear action plans with our partners and review progress on a regular basis. This will include our actions around public health surveillance and research.

Key partners

  • Police Scotland
  • Local Authorities
  • Health Boards
  • Housing support
  • Scottish Prison Service
  • Courts
  • Treatment providers
  • Employability services
  • Children and families services
  • Social Work
  • Youth Services
  • Community Learning and Development
  • Integration Authorities
  • Nationally commissioned organisations
  • Academia
  • People with lived/living experience
  • People who use services
  • Community organisations
  • Scottish Fire and Rescue Service
  • Families
  • Care Inspectorate
  • NHS Health Scotland
  • NHS National Services Scotland
  • Improvement agencies
  • Community Justice Scotland
  • Housing providers
  • Community members and organisations
  • Mental health services
  • Scottish Ambulance Service
  • Third Sector
  • Crown Office

The workforce

8. It is people who will deliver this strategy. Building on existing expertise we need to ensure that people have the right values, knowledge and experience as well as access to training and ongoing support to put these into practice. Our approach needs to reach beyond those working in treatment and other public services - to volunteers, those leading recovery communities, family members as well as the public. We are committed to developing a workforce development framework which will set out our shared expectations for this workforce.

Evaluation and review

9. NHS Health Scotland will lead on the evaluation of this strategy, through an evaluation framework. The framework will be used to monitor and evaluate progress against the commitments and outcomes from Rights, Respect and Recovery on an ongoing basis.This will sit alongside the existing evaluation framework for the Alcohol the Prevention Framework, Monitoring and Evaluating Scotland’s Alcohol Strategy (MESAS)[5].

Addressing alcohol and drug harms together

10. In recognising that there is much in common in how we respond to alcohol and drugs, the Scottish Government has brought together the alcohol and drug strategies into one suite of publications. Rights, Respect and Recovery is the overarching strategy for prevention and treatment of alcohol and drugs.


Email: William Doyle

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