Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: Yes
Proposed decision –
Adopt the Kent Drug and Alcohol Strategy 2023-2028 and delegate authority to the Director of Public Health to refresh and/or make revisions as appropriate during the lifetime of the strategy.
Reason for the decision – The previous Kent Drug and Alcohol Strategy ran from 2017 to 2022 and was a joint strategy with Kent Police. During 2021/2022, a number of new issues came to light, firstly, the Dame Carol Black report, and the government’s new drug strategy, “From Harm to Hope”, which prompted local areas to create a combating drugs plan, secondly, as a result of increasing drug deaths in Kent and increasing alcohol consumption during COVID-19 the risks to the most vulnerable have increased, thirdly, a new partnership structure in Kent is in place. These three issues mean that it is important to have this new and refreshed Drug and Alcohol Strategy for Kent to tackle the substance misuse harms for the next 5 years, which was developed in partnership and has completed public consultation.
The new Kent Drug and Alcohol 5-year Strategy
The new strategy takes a whole system approach, improving the range of partners signed up to the Kent Alliance for Substance Misuse (including social care and safeguarding) and making better links to NHS. It is a partnership strategy which aligns visions and priorities across the Alliance.
The Alliance is now Chaired by the Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health. The Alliance’s governance is both to the Kent and Medway Health and Wellbeing Board and the Kent Community Safety Partnership, and will also be accountable to the Integrated Care Board via the health inequalities subgroups.
The Substance Misuse Alliance along with the new executive group will drive the new Strategy forward. The new Strategy has been informed by a council-to-council quality improvement peer review in 2020. The new Strategy has 13 key priorities and aims to prioritise the causes and the consequences of drug and alcohol harm. It will also seek to implement a range of harm reduction strategies and ensure there are quality services for the very high-risk families, vulnerable people and communities.
The draft Strategy has been endorsed by partners via the Kent Substance Misuse Alliance. The public consultation supported the 13 priorities and gave good guidance for the specific objectives and suggested actions that will be feature in those plans e.g. strengthening carer and service user engagement.
Risks: The risk of not having a partnership wide strategic plan will leave Kent vulnerable to poor co-ordination, duplication of funding, confusion across the system, poorer communication, and poor opportunities to work together; ultimately for people not using our substance misuse services.
Supporting Challenges: The proposed decision supports the Council’s Strategic Statement – Framing Kent’s Future in relation to economic challenge, demand challenge, partnership challenge, and financial challenge.
As Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, I
a) APPROVE the adoption of the Kent Drug and Alcohol Strategy 2023-2028;and
b) DELEGATE authority to the Director of Public Health to refresh and/or make revisions as appropriate during the lifetime of the Strategy.
Publication date: 26/04/2023
Date of decision: 26/04/2023
Effective from: 05/05/2023