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 April and 30 June 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, 20 services, out of 172, were excluded due to the absence of complete data.

Main points

  • Of the 8,314 referrals to community-based specialist drug and alcohol treatment services completed in this quarter, 96% involved a wait of three weeks or less. Eleven of the 13 NHS Boards reporting data met the standard during the quarter, while NHS Highland (87%) and NHS Lothian (excluding City of Edinburgh ADP; 86%) did not meet the standard (Chart 1).
  • Of the treatment referrals completed in this quarter, 4,375 were for people seeking help for problematic use of alcohol, 3,089 for problematic use of drugs and 850 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 (95%), drug (96%) and co-dependency (96%).
  • At the end of the quarter, 2,194 treatment referrals were not complete. Of these, 626 (29%) referrals involved a wait of at least three weeks.
  • Of the 589 referrals to prison-based specialist drug and alcohol treatment services completed within this quarter, 98% involved a wait of three weeks or less. Of these, 430 were for people seeking help for problematic use of drugs.
Image caption Percentage of completed drug or alcohol treatment referrals with a wait of three weeks or less, by NHS board (1 April to 30 June 2021)

Note: Dumfries and Galloway and City of Edinburgh ADPs are excluded from these data.

Background

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.

Further information

The next release of this publication will be 5 April 2022.

General enquiries

If you have an enquiry relating to this publication, please email phs.drugsteam@phs.scot.

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Older versions of this publication

Versions of this publication released before 16 March 2020 may be found on the Data and Intelligence, Health Protection Scotland or Improving Health websites.

Last updated: 13 June 2022
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