Across England, access to intensive drug and alcohol treatment, delivered in residential care home settings, is being denied to increasing numbers of people. Over the last year, nearly 600 fewer people were able to access these services despite the increasing vulnerability due to the pandemic.
However, this is far from a ‘pandemic effect’, official figures show that after years of decline in funding fewer than 1% of people in treatment can now access residential care. In some regions of England there is no access at all. Residential treatment is a NICE approved treatment for people with more complex needs and clearly recognised within the UK treatment guidelines as an effective treatment for people that need more intensive treatment than can be offered in the community.
If this new funding is ringfenced and distributed with a weighting towards those areas with very low, or no access, we believe this investment will start to address this glaring health inequality.
Residential treatment is very often the gateway to improved physical and mental health, employment and housing,
It is time to halt the ever increasing exclusion from healthcare services faced by people with more complex needs.