Following a reduction in Government funding for commissioning drug and alcohol services, we are proposing to assess the priority level of each service we commission with a view to achieving savings that have the least impact on treatment for drug and alcohol users in Manchester.
While Manchester City Council values the work of all partners in delivering drug and alcohol treatment services, it is inevitable that some services may no longer be commissioned following review. We would only consider ending a contract with a service once we had looked at the impact on clients, staff, and other stakeholders such as partner organisations.
We propose to evaluate the priority level of each service we commission by using five criteria to help us work out which services:
Meet the Council's Public Health Objectives
Engage with hard-to-reach and minority groups
Perform to a high standard
Offer a service that is not duplicated elsewhere
Are the responsibility of another public body.
Services that score highly will be prioritised for future funding. The priority level will seek to ensure that any reduction in commissioning services will have the least impact on treatment for drug and alcohol users.
Priority 1: The service supports Manchester City Council's Public Health objectives
Priority 1 is about strategic relevance and it will assess how closely services support national and local Public Health drug and alcohol outcome measures. It will include the measures in the Public Health Outcome Framework (PHOF) (ie successful completion of drug treatment (PHOF Indicator 2.15) and alcohol-related admissions to hospital (PHOF Indicator 2.8)) and local strategic priorities (eg. prevention and early intervention; reducing crime).
The Priority will also assess whether:
The service provides drug and/or alcohol treatment and support for individual clients and/or their carers
The service provides technical expertise, performance management, and administrative support
The service provides support for individual clients as part of another type of service.
Priority 2: The service engages with hard-to-reach/minority groups
Priority 2 will assess whether a service is designed to support one section of the population or hard-to-reach groups (eg. women only), which may make it particularly more difficult for them to access treatment and support were that service not to continue.
Priority 3: Performance
Priority 3 will focus and rate the quality and performance of the service:
How well a service does what it intends to do
Is there evidence that the service is effective?
Does the service see the right type and the right number of clients?
Is there positive feedback from people who use the service?
Is there positive feedback from other stakeholders?
Not all the information above will be relevant or available for all the services reviewed and that will be taken into account.
Priority 4: Duplication of provision
Priority 4 looks at whether two or more services are delivering the same or very similar treatment and support. It will consider whether there could be changes to the way services are delivered to reduce duplication and make them more efficient.
Priority 5: Area/scope of responsibility
Priority 5 looks at whether another agency or public body has responsibility for funding the service and considers if the service is an addition to services already provided by another public body.
Our proposal for assessing services does not focus on any individual drug or alcohol service or its staff. Rather it looks at how resources are allocated overall in order to ensure Drugs and Alcohol Strategy Team (DAST) can assess the impact of any reduction in funding for any one type of service compared to any other and to ensure services continue to meet the Council's strategic priorities.
Once the process for assessing priority for funding is agreed, it is intended that DAST will review services with a view to commissioning those services from its reduced budget that best meet the needs of Manchester residents from June 2013. These decisions will be guided by the principles agreed following consultation that will indicate the level of priority given to each of the services we currently fund. Services that score highly will be prioritised for future funding.
Download a copy of the questionnaire we made available.