A new alcohol and drug hub is to be trialled in Orkney.
A venue in central Kirkwall has been secured by the Orkney Alcohol and Drugs Partnership (OADP) to run the pilot scheme – helping to support individuals with alcohol and drug dependency.
Funded through OADP thanks to additional revenue from the Scottish Government, it is planned to open the premises in the coming weeks and provide a central location from where service users can continue to attend a weekly specialist prescription clinic.
Chair of the Integration Joint Board, Councillor Rachael King, explained: “This has been under development for some time and is now coming to fruition. The idea is that the hub will be a central location which can be used by Orkney Health and Care’s Substance Misuse Team for their prescribing clinic but also for other therapeutic services for our clients, such as cognitive therapies, talking and group therapies, SMART Recovery (self-help addiction recovery) and acupuncture.
“In addition, our Third Sector partners could also use the facility to provide a range and variety of services for people to access in the community.
“They come for different reasons, not just for opiate replacement therapy. We hope the new hub will offer a better level of anonymity and accessibility for them,” Councillor King said. “The current set up was streamlined to ensure the prescribing clinic was held on a set day each week and that has worked well to stabilise, support and provide regularity to our patients. The new hub service will further enhance on that streamlining to offer a more one stop shop service under one roof.
“We are trying to move away from hospital-based clinics where we can. Community-based services give a level of normality for people and, at the end of the day, what we want is to try and make it as easy as possible for service users to get into recovery.
“Because we live in such a small area we must try and protect people’s anonymity at all cost and we feel the new hub will help with that as it will be much more discreet.”
The pilot project will run until the summer.
“We cannot say for certain at this early stage in the trial whether it will be extended further as that will depend on feedback and usage from service users and available funding, but we certainly hope it will be a success,” Councillor King added.
The OADP is a multi-agency organisation incorporating over 30 members, including NHS Orkney, Orkney Islands Council, Police Scotland and the Voluntary Sector.
The partnership is overseen by a support team who ensure that all members are able to contribute towards various aspects of substance misuse in Orkney.
The Integration Joint Board oversees Orkney’s community health and social care services, ensuring “joined-up” working to meet the needs of the local community.