This paper sets out the Scottish Government response to the set of recommendations presented to Ministers, and other partners involved in reducing the harms caused by problematic use of alcohol and drugs, on 4 December 2020 by the Residential Rehabilitation Working Group.
This response should be read in conjunction with the full paper of the Residential Rehabilitation Working Group which sets out further background and context to the work.
Residential Rehabilitation Working Group
The Residential Rehabilitation Working Group recommendations set out immediate work required on improving access to treatment and use of existing capacity. In the medium term the Group recommended a review of funding models, the establishment of shared principles on standardisation, sustainable, effective pathways to treatment with a view to having national guidance for treatment provision. For the longer-term the Group highlighted the need for significant changes. The recommendations were based on evidence, existing examples of good practice and the context of the problems being experienced now in Scotland.
The Scottish Government response to these recommendations is set out in this paper as Annex A. These actions will be supported by significant additional and immediate resources as part of government's National Mission to tackle drug-related deaths.
National Mission to Reduce Drug Deaths
In her statement to Scottish Parliament on 20 January 2021 the First Minister set out additional investment as part of a National Mission to reduce drug deaths. This included an immediate investment of £5 million extra in the financial year 2020-21 – until the end of March. A significant proportion of this will be used to increase the number of residential rehabilitation placements and associated aftercare across the country to make sure there is capacity to meet demands. The expectation is that funding will flow to grassroots and community organisations to effect the change needed.
Beyond that, over the next session of Parliament, government intend to allocate an additional £20 million a year for residential rehabilitation and associated aftercare. This funding – a total of £100 million over the five years of the next parliament - will support further investment in and expansion of residential rehabilitation. A significant proportion of the extra funding will go towards developing sustainable capacity in regional centres across the country, and this work will be inclusive of different models of care. The Scottish Government is clear we need to see residential rehabilitation in the context of wider community services and community rehabilitation. We also need to consider what happens to people when they return to their local community, including aftercare. We will work with partners across the country, including grass roots and third sector, to take forward the actions set out in this paper, as well as ensuring this work is embedded across all areas of Government.