Taxpayer-funded drugs and alcohol abuse service in Blackpool is ordered to improve after inspectors find legal breaches

A drugs and alcohol abuse service in Blackpool has put together an action plan after being ordered to improve.

Wednesday, 5th December 2018, 1:39 pm
Updated Wednesday, 5th December 2018, 2:45 pm
Horizons base in Dickson Road, Blackpool, where inspectors have demanded to see improvement (Picture: Google Maps)

Horizon Drug and Alcohol Recovery, in Dickson Road, was issued with warning notices after a report from health industry watchdog Care Quality Commission (CQC) highlighted breaches of regulation.

Coun Amy Cross, health boss at Blackpool Council, which pays for the service, said: “We are in discussions with the service provider so that their action plan to fully meet CQC requirements is delivered to our satisfaction.

“We will be happy to provide any further updates as soon as they are available.”

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The council did not say when asked how much taxpayer cash the service gets every year, but its budget showed £4.6m will be spent on ‘substance misuse (drugs and alcohol) this year.

The recent inspection came after a previous visit in January, when its risk assessments and recovery plans were criticised. The service was also told to make sure staff completed all mandatory training, and are properly supervised.

“At this [latest] focused inspection, the requirement notices had not been met and warning notices were issued,” the CQC’s report said.

After a more recent visit by inspector Clare Fell and two assistant inspectors, the CQC said risk assessments were of a “poor quality” and put families, including children, at risk.

Compliance with mandatory training was still low, though the service “had improved and achieved an average compliance rate of 81 per cent”.

Recovery plans were also branded “poor quality” because there were “not up-to-date, holistic, recovery-orientated, or personalised”. The report said: “Recovery plans did not always include all risks and needs as identified in other documents.

“This meant clients’ care and treatment was unclear. There was no specific plan for staff and clients to follow.”

Staff supervision rates were below the target of every six to eight weeks, the report also revealed. “This meant the service was not effectively monitoring supervision compliance to improve the quality of the service.”

Three regulation breaches were identified by the CQC, which said Horizon “MUST take” action to improve its recovery plans, risk assessments, and supervision levels.

Horizon, which offers free help – such as information, screening, treatment and counselling – could not be reached for a comment.