Law and order

Substance misuse services

The Safer Sutton Partnership Service consists of the former Drug and Alcohol Action Team (DAAT) and the Community Safety Team. One role of the Safer Sutton Partnership relates to the commissioning of substance misuse services for Sutton residents.

The Home Office currently estimates there are 848 problematic drug users in Sutton. A problematic drug user is defined as "a person who experiences social, psychological, physical or legal problems related to intoxication or regular excessive consumption and dependence as a consequence of their own drug use".

In the last financial year Sutton managed to increase the number of substance misusers (excluding alcohol) in treatment by 40% from 394 in 2003/04 to 550 in 2004/05, thus substantially exceeding previous set targets.

The average waiting times for each treatment modality fell below the national average with the exception of day care in March 2005. Sutton has since commissioned a Sutton based substance misuse day programme which has lead to a decrease in the average waiting time from 1.7 weeks in March to 1.1 weeks.

Referral process

SSPS has developed a standardised referral and assessment system for drug and alcohol misuse. The referral form can be seen as valuable in helping to ascertain whether or not a person has a substance misuse problem, and if so where best to refer to. It can be used either by a referrer, or by the person concerned.

Safer Sutton Partnership Service annual treatment plan

Each year, SSPS is required by the government to produce a treatment plan that sets out how Sutton will tackle drugs misuse locally. The plan is drafted in conjunction with key partners and after consultation with service users, and is approved by the National Treatment Agency (NTA). Sutton's treatment plan was formally signed off in good time after having met the stringent requirements of the NTA. The plan became effective from 1 April 2005.

The plan comprises three parts as follows:

Part 1 – The Strategic Summary
This contains a summary of the local context, key issues and strategy for the year ahead, together with outline performance targets and baselines.

Part 2 – The Self-Assessment Summary 

This contains an honest self-assessment of the position in Sutton at the time of writing the plan.

Part 3 – The Planning Grids

This part contains the detailed objectives and actions SSPS has set for the year ahead.