Agenda item

Substance Use Services in Herefordshire

To provide members of the Committee with an overview of substance use services in Herefordshire and the work of the new service provider, Turning Point.


Before the item was presented, the committee enquired if a glossary of terms expanding on abbreviations and acronyms used in reports and recorded in the pre-scrutiny committee meeting (01/03/22) as an action had been produced and circulated. The Acting Director for Adults and Communities, explained that it had not had been actioned and that any abbreviations or acronyms coming up during the meeting could be explained. The committee expressed frustration at this and pointed out that heavy use of abbreviations often made it difficult and time consuming to understand reports. The Acting Director for Adults and Communities gave an assurance that a glossary would be produced and the chair recommended that the committee proceed with items on the agenda.



The committee received a report focusing on Substance Use Services, which was presented by Chris Franks (Operations Manager, Turning Point Herefordshire) andKevin McNamara (Senior Quality Assurance Advisor, Turning Point).


The committee congratulated the Turning Point attendees on the improved performance the service had made in relatively short period of time.


The committee enquired about the pathway for referring to community based aftercare and whether Turning Point worked with AA (Alcoholics Anonymous), NA (Narcotics Anonymous) and existing support groups.


The operations manager explained that Turning Point worked with local GPs to enhance pre-interventions and structured pre-interventions. In addition to working with local GPs, Turning point was also linked up with the probation services and social services. Aftercare was a key area of focus and there was an emphasis on a mindfulness based approach, which helped people understand triggers and how to prevent risk of relapse. It was explained that Turning Point did have existing links with recovery communities including AA and NA and would be looking to strengthen them in the future via post-Covid face-to-face activity. The operations manager also discussed SMART (Self-management and Recovery Training) recovery and described how it was a cognitive behavioural therapy based, peer-led intervention. It was emphasised that there was a choice of ways for people to access suitable aftercare in the community.


The committee asked the operations manager how the figures in the report were produced, where Turning Point was located, who its mental health partners were and how much work had been started with the schools.


The operations manager explained that the performance figures from data analysts were reported through a national data system then from an on-site case data management system which fed into a national database.

Kayte Thompson-Dixon expanded that other drug services have to report their data onto a NDTMS (National Drug and Alcohol Data Treatment Monitoring System) and that this is fed through to UKHSA (UK Health Security Agency). The data is two-pronged with local data and the data that is compiled by UKHSA.


It was explained that Turning Point was located at multiple sites around the county, with off street access available in Hereford, as well as remote access via telephone.


In relation to mental health, Turning Point had established strong links with Wye Valley Trust, healthy living and healthy minds trainers, and other referral groups. Mental health services have Turning Point’s details, as do the police and other services. Communications about Turning point are sent out across the county and it has a mental health trust in its weekly meetings. It works closely with partner agencies and plans to strengthen these links..


Regarding work done with schools, the operations manager pointed out that Turning Point had been holding interventions with local schools and received positive feedback on workshops and interventions. Plans were in place to develop this further, but it was noted that Covid had hampered access over the last two years.


The committee asked about the purchase of a mobile outreach vehicle and what it would be used for?


The operations manager explained that Turning Point had purchased an old ambulance, the vehicle was being rebranded and within the next few months a local mechanic would be working on it to make it roadworthy and useable. It was anticipated that the vehicle would be especially useful in reaching individuals and communities in rural areas of the county.


The committee noted the inherited poor performance and asked about where the service saw itself in the future.


The operations manager state that the ambition in the coming months and years was to be in the top quartile in all measurable areas.



The recommendations below were proposed and seconded and carried unanimously.



The Committee recommended that:

a)    The report be noted


b)    Information on how to contact or make referrals to the service be shared with councillors'


Contact Details Provided:


@TPHerefordshire on Twitter


Supporting documents: