While the Commission has been doing its work over the last year, action has already been taken to begin to reverse this trend.
A new independent chair of the Dundee Alcohol and Drug Partnership (ADP) has been appointed. Simon Little has considerable previous experience as a non-executive director of NHS Fife, Chair of the Fife Health and Social Care Partnership and currently as a General Member of the Mental Health Tribunal for Scotland.
The membership of the ADP is now being refreshed, ensuring that partners and services are represented at the most senior level to guarantee that the ADP has the authority to take decisions and make changes quickly.
The ADP has been designated as a Public Protection committee and will share the same support and scrutiny as the city’s arrangements to protect vulnerable children and adults.
The Tayside Drug Deaths Review Group has accelerated the production of its annual report and a full-time dedicated drug death analyst has been appointed to provide more in-depth analysis. It now has the clearest profile yet available on those who have died or experienced a non-fatal overdose.
Its recommendations for 2018 have been fully captured in a new, comprehensive Drug Death Action Plan for Dundee.
In anticipation of the Commission’s findings, a range of measures have already been taken to improve services over the last year, from recruiting additional key staff to improving service accessibility through a direct access drop-in assessment clinic.
In 2018 the Scottish Government provided additional funding to support local implementation of the new national strategy for drug misuse Rights, Respect and Recovery. A number of key programmes have been funded through this.