Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust (SHSC) has been selected as the new provider for opiate and non-opiate drug services in Sheffield following a competitive tender process.

The Drug and Alcohol Co-ordination Team (DACT), on behalf of Sheffield City Council, put drug services out to tender earlier this year, seeking to find providers to deliver services for drug users in Sheffield. The new contracts will begin on 1 October 2014. The interventions will include harm reduction, psychosocial interventions or ‘talking treatments’, prescribed medications and recovery support, including learning schemes to increase employability.

The new services are both for individuals who are at the ‘recreational’ end of drug use who require brief support and harm reduction advice, and for those with very complex problems who have long term support needs.

Councillor Mazher Iqbal, Cabinet Member for Communities and Public Health at Sheffield City Council, said:

“This contract award opens an exciting new chapter for recovery-focused substance misuse in Sheffield. I am delighted we have an experienced provider who knows Sheffield, our service and is able to turn our vision into a reality.

“These services are ‘end-to-end’, which means that any individual with a substance misuse problem can receive all the interventions they need to secure their recovery within the single service.” The trust will also work with current and ex-service users, as well as other members of the public, to shape the identity of both the services.

Chris Wood, Project Lead for SHSC, said:

“We are excited to have secured this business on behalf of the organisation and are looking forward to providing seamless services to individuals in Sheffield who experience problems as a result of their drug use.

“We have over 30 years’ experience of providing drug and alcohol services to the people of Sheffield. Our focus will continue to be on enabling service users to understand the impact of their drug use on their lives and that of those around them and to use effective and innovative interventions to support changes in behaviour, with the ultimate aim of empowering people to live a life free from dependence.”

Kevan Taylor, Chief Executive of SHSC, added:

“We are delighted that SHSC has been appointed as the new provider of these services, fitting with our vision to be recognised nationally as a leading provider of high quality health and social care services. “We are seeking to engage and work with existing providers, including our colleagues in primary care and non-statutory sector services, in order to ensure that the transition of services is as smooth as possible and does not jeopardise service users’ treatment and recovery journeys.”