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Non-NHS residential alcohol resources are allocated in an inconsistent manner: some preliminary data

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271 - 279
Number of pages9
JournalDrugs: Education, Prevention and Policy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2003

King's Authors


The National Health Service and Community Care Act transferred the responsibility for the funding of residential alcohol services to social services in the United Kingdom. To date there has been minimal investigation into the impact of these changes. A questionnaire and semi-structured interview was administered to a designated community care assessor (CCA) from ten (eight women and two men) randomly selected London Boroughs. Eight were social workers, two of these were not professionally qualified. Nine respondents had previous professional contact with alcohol dependent subjects, but only two received any training for their new role. There were three areas of enquiry: first, training received; second, financial resources available, and third those areas which an expert panel thought would be important in relation to the allocation of funds. These were sixfold: equal opportunities; alcohol-related; medical; poly-drug; psychiatric, and forensic factors. The mean annual resources allocated by each borough were $71,000, range 6,000-150,000, (figures from 1998). The only area that was consistently endorsed as being a factor in the allocation of residential resources were psychiatric factors. Each respondent felt that a recent attempt at suicide or self-harm would be very important in their decision to grant funding. We conclude that there are no nationally agreed standards in the allocation of residential alcohol resources. Furthermore this study has shown training deficiencies, inconsistencies and the need for nationally agreed multidisciplinary standards in this area.

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