Collective Statement of Intent to Tackle Drugs Deaths

Collective Statement of Intent to Tackle Drugs Deaths Image

Leaders of key Dundee agencies are underlining their continuing support to city efforts to tackle drug deaths and the suffering cause by substance use by publishing a collective statement of intent.

This document has been sent to front line workers and those across organisations who are implementing the Dundee Alcohol and Drug Partnership’s (ADP) action plan for change.

The message is also aimed at people who use services, and their families, as well as the public.

Publication comes as the Dundee Drugs Commission prepares to reconvene this summer to review progress on the implementation of its recommendations.

The statement concludes: “We are committed to continuing that collective effort, to reduce the awful harm that drugs can cause and improve lives with kindness, compassion and hope.”

It is signed by:

Simon Little, independent chair, Dundee Alcohol and Drug Partnership; Grant Archibald, chief executive, NHS Tayside; Greg Colgan, chief executive, Dundee City Council; Vicky Irons, chief officer, Dundee Health and Social Care Partnership, Chief Superintendent Andrew Todd, Police Scotland Tayside Division; and Eric Knox, chief executive, Dundee Volunteer and Voluntary Action. 

Councillor John Alexander, chair of the Dundee Partnership said: “This powerful collective message of support from leaders of our key agencies is a signal of how determined we all are to maintain progress in turning the situation around and saving lives.

“Like them, I am impressed by the commitment of our staff across agencies who, during the biggest health emergency of our lifetimes, have applied innovation and creativity to deliver services in new and pioneering ways.”

Councillor Alexander continued: “These developments are already making a difference, but we have to remember that this is a long-term strategy to try and solve problems which have been with us for generations.

“Already, timescales have been changed on the ADP action plan for change because of the pandemic, but this does not alter our united stand to improve the lives of people and their families who suffer the terrible consequences of drug use.

“The original Dundee Drugs Commission represented a courageous step by the Dundee Partnership to bring in outside expertise to look at the situation in our city and propose recommendations.

“I look forward to the commissioners returning to see what has been achieved, in the most challenging of circumstances.”

Statement of Intent:

Leaders of key agencies in Dundee are issuing a collective Statement of Intent as the Dundee Drugs Commission prepares to reconvene.

As leaders, we are restating the commitments of our City Plan in Dundee that the health, safety and protection of vulnerable people is a top priority.

We also recognise the importance of excellent collaborative working between the Council, NHS Tayside, Police Scotland, the third sector and local communities if services are to be most effective.

Reducing substance use and supporting people, families and communities who are affected by problem substance use are key priorities in our efforts across the Dundee Partnership to improve health, care and wellbeing.

Following the commission’s findings in 2019, the Dundee Alcohol and Drug Partnership produced an Action Plan for Change, with a recent progress update outlining changed timescales due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Through the ADP Action Plan, we as leaders of the response are committed to: 

  • winning the trust and confidence of the public and partner agencies through effective leadership, governance and accountability
  • supporting practitioners with the right resources and structures to deliver the best possible services to those who need them
  • ensuring meaningful involvement and engagement of people who experience problems with drugs, their families and carers and those that advocate for them
  • confronting and addressing stigma and strengthening mutual and community support
  • tackling the root causes of substance use
  • keeping children safe from substance use and its consequences
  • implementing trauma informed approaches, targeting support to those at increased risk of substance use and death
  • ensuring gendered approaches are considered in all activities and accommodated in design and delivery of services
  • implementing a revised person-centred, seamless, sustainable and comprehensive model of care.

The commission will review progress we have achieved in implementing its recommendations, consider the impact of, and the lessons learned from, measures taken in response to the COVID pandemic, agree any new findings emerging from the review and make additional recommendations if required.

Significant progress has already been achieved in the face of extra challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic and there are huge efforts being made by everyone working in our organisations, services and third sector.

We are committed to continuing that collective effort, to reduce the awful harm that drugs can cause and improve lives with kindness, compassion and hope. 

Signatories: Simon Little, independent chair, Dundee Alcohol and Drug Partnership; Grant Archibald, chief executive, NHS Tayside; Greg Colgan, chief executive, Dundee City Council; Vicky Irons, chief officer, Dundee Health and Social Care Partnership, Chief Superintendent Andrew Todd, Police Scotland Tayside Division; and Eric Knox, chief executive, Dundee Volunteer and Voluntary Action.

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