About this release
This data release by Public Health Scotland reports on waiting times for people accessing specialist drug and alcohol treatment services between 1 July and 30 September 2021. In 2011, the Scottish Government set a standard that 90% of people referred for help with problematic drug or alcohol use will wait no longer than three weeks for specialist treatment that supports their recovery.
Data from City of Edinburgh and Dumfries & Galloway Alcohol and Drug Partnerships (ADPs) have been excluded from this data release. Neither of these ADPs was able to confirm that their data were accurate and up-to-date within the specified timescale. Amongst the remaining ADPs, ten services, out of 174, were excluded due to the absence of complete data.
- Of the 7,818 referrals to community-based specialist drug and alcohol treatment services completed in this quarter, 93% involved a wait of three weeks or less. Nine of the 13 NHS Boards reporting data met the standard during the quarter, while NHS Fife (89%), NHS Lothian (excluding City of Edinburgh ADP; 81%), NHS Tayside (78%) and NHS Highland (78%) did not meet the standard (Chart 1).
- Of the treatment referrals completed in this quarter, 4,305 were for people seeking help for problematic use of alcohol, 2,668 for problematic use of drugs and 845 for problematic use of both alcohol and drugs.
- The percentage of referrals completed within three weeks was similar across the groups of problematic substance use: alcohol (92%), drug (94%) and co-dependency (93%).
- At the end of the quarter, 2,358 treatment referrals were not complete. Of these, 823 (35%) referrals involved a wait of at least three weeks.
- Of the 357 referrals to prison-based specialist drug and alcohol treatment services completed within this quarter, 97% involved a wait of three weeks or less. Of these 266 were for people seeking help for problematic use of drugs.
Note: Dumfries and Galloway and City of Edinburgh ADPs are excluded from these data.
These data were extracted from the new Drug and Alcohol Information System (DAISy) and its predecessor the Drug and Alcohol Treatment Waiting Times (DATWT) database. DAISy was implemented in four NHS Boards (Ayrshire & Arran, Dumfries & Galloway, Grampian and Western Isles) from December 2020, and was available in all NHS Boards from April 2021.
The next release of this publication will be 5 April 2022.
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