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Howard and Byrne Solicitors, York - Criminal Defence Specialists

Selby's Alcohol Service under threat

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12:00am 31st May 2011

The Selby District Alcohol Service, based at Community House, may have to cut back on their services to the public due to a reduction in funding from several statutory bodies.

The valued service has been operational for many years in Selby district and has helped countless people come to terms with alcohol misuse.

Due to cut back from North Yorkshire County Council, the PCT and the Probation Service though, the hours available to the service may have to be reduced.

If budgets are slashed the Alcohol service have no option but to reduce the amount of one to one time spent with clients, along with a reduced capacity for partnership working and an inevitable build up of a waiting list.

The reduction in the Selby service will also have a knock on effect within the wider community.

Research publish by Alcohol Concern, in Feb 2011 reveals some astonishing figures:

  • A full-time alcohol worker will produce a net saving of £85,000 per PCT per year, by treating an additional 2% of dependent drinkers an alcohol service will generate net savings of between £39,000 and £167,000 per PCT per year depending on the size of PCT.
  • A UK trial proved that, over a 6-month period, specialist treatment for alcohol misuse delivered savings of nearly £1,138 per dependent drinker treated and reduced admissions to hospital.
  • The National Treatment Agency found that for every £1 invested in specialist alcohol treatment £5 is saved on health, welfare and crime costs.

So it can be seen that these cuts will in effect almost certainly lead to greater expenditure in both the short and long term for the funders.So what looks like a saving will in fact lead to even greater expenditure.

A team member said:

"Whilst we understand that there has to be a reduction in some of the funding, we have been hit hard, we never put all our eggs in one basket to ensure a mix of funding, so that if we lost one funder we could have possibly absorbed cuts, but facing cuts from all three funders has brought about this reduction in hours.

"We will do our utmost to see as many clients as possible, but will have to cut back on the partnership working. However while partnership working is not a direct front facing activity it is a vital component in the holistic approach that we have to the service offered to our clients"

"We will continue to look for other funders, but the funding situation is difficult at the moment, and we ask that clients and those who make referrals to the service to understand that there will be a delay before the commencement of treatment. However, we will always arrange a first appointment as soon as possible before the client is added to the waiting list."

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