Island drug and alcohol therapy to be provided by Midlands NHS Trust

Specialist drug, alcohol and psychological therapy provider Inclusion has been appointed to run services on the Island, the Isle of Wight Council has announced.

Inclusion replaces the Island Recovery Integrated Service (IRIS) which stopped taking referrals in March after increased demand and staff shortages.

Inclusion, part of the Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, has experience in providing drug and alcohol services in many parts of the country, including Hampshire and HMP Isle of Wight.

Councillor Clare Mosdell (Arreton and Newchurch), cabinet member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, said: “It was the Isle of Wight Council’s priority to ensure a full, clinically safe substance misuse service that was available as soon as possible for residents.

“Inclusion and the Isle of Wight NHS Trust are working closely together to ensure a safe transfer of services between organisations.

“Both are committed to ensuring the transition is seamless and smooth for service users, staff and other partners.

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“Services will continue to be delivered at current levels throughout this time.

“Inclusion is also working with the trust to identify what support they can offer the service ahead of the transfer.”

Dr Lesley Stevens, director of mental health and learning disability services at the IW NHS Trust, said: “We firmly believe a specialist service provider is the best option for the future of drug and alcohol services on the Island.

“We’re very pleased Inclusion is part of the NHS and staff transferring to the new service can do so on NHS terms and conditions.

“We’re working closely with Inclusion and IRIS staff to ensure a smooth handover.”

Danny Hames, Head of Inclusion said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with the Isle of Wight Council and look forward to working with service users, staff and partner agencies from December 1.

“We are working closely with commissioners and the IW trust to enable a safe handover of services.

“Inclusion are a specialist provider of drug and alcohol services and we hold true to our NHS values by putting people at the heart of our services, empowering staff and service users to build successful futures and working in partnership to promote health, wellbeing and safer communities.

“We have provided drug and alcohol support within HMP IOW since 2005 and we look forward to expanding this support into the community; our aim is to reduce the harm of drugs and alcohol to individuals, their families and the wider communities.”

The new contract will commence on December 1.