Barnet PCT is making further cuts to the drug and alcohol services for the borough. Having made £250,000 cuts in the last financial year, they are now imposing even more cuts (the extent of which are not clear yet) on services which are are already stretched almost to breaking point.

Even cut-price social care provider, Turning Point, has walked away from their part of the contract – fearing that the level of service provision being asked for the funding provided (and inadequate staffing level expected) would put services at too high a risk of lurching from chaos to crisis.

Turning Point currently provides the DIP (criminal justice) and community elements of Barnet’s drug and alcohol services. The clinical prescribing service will also change hands as an agreement wasn’t reached with Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health Trust who currently provide this service.

Barnet PCT now plans to contract out the provision for the borough’s drug and alcohol services for one year to a partnership of Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust (to provide the prescribing service), Westminster Drug Project and Haringey Advisory Group on Alcohol. This is a temporary measure as they are legally obliged to recommission through a new tendering process for services to be provided from April 2012.

The author works in social care