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Birmingham and Solihull Mental health NHS Foundation Trust
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New £2m a year contract for drug and alcohol support in Solihull

Published: 20/09/2018

 Following an extensive and open process by Solihull Council to secure a new substance misuse service for Solihull residents, existing provider Solihull Integrated Addictions Service (SIAS) has been successful in winning a four year contract worth nearly £2m a year. The new contract will start on 1 April 20­19.

SIAS is an innovative partnership between Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (BSMHFT) and community and voluntary sector providers Welcome, Aquarius, Changes UK and Urban Heard. It is responsible for delivering services to residents of all ages in Solihull to support problematic substance use and alcohol consumption, gambling issues and specialist family and young persons’ care. This new contract will further enhance existing alcohol and substance misuse across all health and social care systems to meet the individual needs of changing and diverse communities.

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Solihull Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health, Cllr Karen Grinsell, said: “Solihull Council is the highest performing local authority in the country for numbers of alcohol dependent residents in treatment. Our success rates for treating opiate and crack using clients is also substantially higher than the national rate.

“We want to make sure that we continue to support people who need our help which is why we are investing nearly £2 million a year in this vital service. As the existing contract for our drug and alcohol service was coming to an end we also took the opportunity to redesign the service to make sure that people who are experiencing the greatest harm are able to access the service.

“BSMHFT and its partners submitted a compelling bid which demonstrated a clear understanding of the service we want. I am confident that they will continue to deliver an excellent service for our residents.”

John Short, Chief Executive at BSMHFT, said: “People who are in need of support during their recovery from alcohol and drug addictions in Solihull have received their care for the last four years from SIAS, a successful partnership that has been operated by our Trust, Aquarius, Welcome, Urban Heard and Changes UK for over 10 years.

“Our combined approach in delivering high-quality, person centred care ensures that the needs of each and every individual is tailored to their unique requirements that assists them in their journey towards recovery in every aspect of their lives.

“It is vital that every aspect of a person’s life is supported when they are recovering from substance or alcohol abuse, or both, and we are delighted to have been successful in our bid to continue with our strong partnership to maintain, and to further develop, the prevention, early intervention, education and treatment and care that can transform people’s lives.”

In 2014 BSMHFT was commissioned to provide the drug and alcohol services for Solihull, together with its partners in SIAS. SIAS has achieved improved outcomes for individuals and families across Solihull and ranked Solihull the  first of all 151 local authorities in the UK by ensuring that 45% of all residents who require alcohol treatment are receiving it*. The existing contract expires on 31 March 2019, so the Council was required to tender for a high quality drug and alcohol service / substance abuse service to continue its work from 1 April 2019.

The service was redesigned after a wide-ranging consultation exercise to ensure the Council fully understood and addressed the priorities and needs of all concerned. Those involved included the police, health care professionals, youth services, the voluntary sector, service users and their families.

Several providers expressed an interest in delivering the service for residents and two providers submitted a full application.

*National Public Health England Data