Agenda item

Barking and Dagenham 5-year Substance Misuse Strategy


  • In the Dame Carol Black report it is outlined that those children and young people who have had adverse childhood experiences are more likely to develop drugs and alcohol problems that will accompany them into adulthood, and that will obviously impact on things like education, around social inclusion, and also impacts on the family and the wider.
  • LBBD don't have that many hospital admissions for Barking and Dagenham and we are below the national average, which is 85% and we're at 68%.
  • We are also doing pieces of work with children, social care around early identification of children with substance misuse.
  • We know that for most children that substance misuse is the overwhelming substance of choice of cannabis and followed closely by alcohol, and we're seeing a rise in children taking ketamine as well.
  • Nicotine is relatively low, but we know that children are vaping as not in a way of giving up cigarettes, but is a lifestyle choice and more work needs to be done around education and also our substance misuse services to make sure that we come back down to national average because at the moment we're fluctuating in the higher echelons of that numbers
  • Planned exits again, we have much more, more children that are leaving our services in a planned and sustained ways


Cllr Worby praised the work being done to tackle alcohol and substance misuse. As laughing gas has recently become a prescribed substance it is important to reflect the issues and new policy around laughing gas within the needs assessment as the use within the borough is quite high.Cllr Worby also notes that the police have a difficult job in finding silver canisters within the tri-borough which is extremely difficult.


Claire Brutton responded that laughing gas substance misuse will be implemented within the needs assessment with the help of SubWise.


Nathan Singleton noted that in section 1.3 on the executive summary where it talks about barking and Dagenham’s young people's substance misuse statistics being better than the national average, there seems to be a lack of confidence in where our numbers are sat. There doesn’t seem to be a grip on what's going on or where there are positive results. Within the  report there were comments around how effective Subwise are and how well respected and flexible they are. However, if LBBD are not completely sure about our data, then we're guessing it might be that staff aren't trained properly, or it might be something complete different. Nathan Singleton questioned if he and the board could get some reassurance in relation to this.


Clare Brutton assured that what is being reflected within the five year strategy is thinking about what our data is telling us, what it showing, but also comparing it to the national data. So if we are out of kilter in any aspect such as the number of people that go into Queens Hospital, for example, alcohol related issues, we know that we are significantly below the average for nationally and from that point we can find out the reasons why we are out of kilter with the national. In 6 months’ time the service will get in touch with voluntary sector services, education and social care to see what data rings true.

April Bald noted that within the report it mentions of the 264 children that came into care, none were identified as having a substance misuse problem. April Bald questioned where the report came from as those numbers I just wondered where that data was pulled from because it may be a recording issue as it is unlikely to be the case that no looked after children displayed no substance misuse problems issues. In this case it would be good to identify who is recording these statistics.

Clare Brutton replied that this data was collected from Liquid Logic and that this is the first time LBBD are really highlighting these sort of more system level issues. The report is starting that conversation because the substance misuse programme of work is a partnership piece of work and it sits with all of us around identification, pathways and treatment plans for our most vulnerable children.

  • There are a significant number of adults that are in treatment, we tend to see more people in treatment in rehab who are doing rehab in the communities and those that are in residential settings and that has always been a trend across the borough.
  • There is an increase in the number of people that are presenting with alcohol rather than substance rather than opiates in the last couple of months.
  • Social care is a strong referrer with 10% of referrals coming in compared to 3% nationally.
  • LBBD’s substance misuse worker on the MASH now three days a week and we would be looking as part of the strategy to extend that to five days a week so that we make sure that there is that systemic thinking around families with complex levels of need that are coming in.
  • CGL have worked tirelessly around the target waiting list and we see between 90 and 100% of clients within three weeks of referral, which is one of the best in London and has been congratulated by the Office for Health improvement and Disparities (OHID).
  • Adults who have co-morbid, mental health issue and substance is-use are a particular cohort who will be focussed on in the next year.
  • There is a disparity amongst who seeks help from drug and alcohol services within the demographic.


Richard Vandenberg offers to meet Clare Brutton outside of the meeting and help unpick the data around substance misuse within the borough. Clare Brutton accepted this offer and thanked Richard Vandenberg.


April Bald commented that she was happy to see that there were a high rate of adults into substance misuse services and this is likely due to Family and Drug Alcohol Court work, as well as the substance misuse worker that sits in the safeguarding service. April Bald also noted it was good to see the needs of the boroughs eastern European community and the unidentified needs of women as this is certainly identified in social care.


Zahid Iqbal questioned if there has been a drive to recruit assertive outreach workers and if this has been expanded.


Clare Brutton responded that this has been expanded and that these outreach workers are going into the community and working to get referrals and treatment plans in place. thoughtful about having a service that represents the community that it serves, but also knowing that a lot of these sort of seldom heard communities won't directly come into services that so that there will have to be a service that goes out, reaches into those communities, and works alongside them to build that trust and relationships and resilience.


Zahid praises the work of outreach workers and offers to meet Clare Brutton and Amolak Tatter outside of the CSP as within the NHS Integrated Care Board there is also work being conducted around hard to reach cohorts. Clare Brutton accepted this offer.


Matthew Cole writes in the Microsoft teams chat that we have been successful in securing a maximum of £432,581k in 2023/24 as part of the Supplementary Substance Misuse Treatment & Recovery Funding 2022-2025 from the Department of Health & Social Care revenue funding, which represents the second year of grant funding allocated in the 21/22 Spending Review Settlement. Conditions of this funding are that: you maintain investment in drug and alcohol treatment and recovery in line with your outturn in 2020/21; the spend is in accordance with our agreed spending proposal for the grant


Cllr Ghani questioned how the Substance Misuse Strategy will interlock but not overlap with the Community Safety Partnership Plan 2023-2026. There will also be the corporate plan will create a synergy across all of the different strategies to ensure that their we're not duplicating.


ACTION – April Bald and Clare Brutton to meet outside of CSP and discuss the recording of looked after children’s substance misuse status.

ACTION – Richard Vandenberg to meet Clare Brutton outside of the CSP and help her with unpicking police data around substance misuse within the borough.

ACTION – Clare Brutton, Amolak Tatter and Zahid Iqbal to meet outside of the CSP to discuss how to engage hard to reach cohorts.



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