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 January and 31 March 2022. 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 Shetland Alcohol and Drug Partnership (ADP), and 12 services, out of the remaining 204 services, have been excluded from this release as they were unable to confirm that their data were accurate and up-to-date within the specified timescale.

Main points

  • Of the 8,202 referrals to community-based specialist drug and alcohol treatment services completed in this quarter, 92% involved a wait of three weeks or less.
  • Nine of the 13 NHS Boards reporting data met the Standard during the quarter. NHS Western Isles (89%), NHS Lothian (81%), NHS Highland (78%) and NHS Tayside (63%) did not meet the Standard.
  • Of the treatment referrals completed in this quarter, 4,619 were for people seeking help for problematic use of alcohol, 2,694 for problematic use of drugs and 889 for problematic use of both alcohol and drugs (co-dependency).
  • The percentage of referrals completed within three weeks was similar across the groups of problematic substance use: alcohol (91%), drug (92%) and co-dependency (93%).
  • At the end of the quarter, 2,699 treatment referrals were not complete. Of these, 822 (30%) referrals involved a wait of at least three weeks.
  • Of the 343 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, 271 (79%) were for people seeking help for problematic use of drugs.
Image caption Percentage of completed community referrals with a wait of three weeks or less, by NHS Board (1 January to 31 March 2022)

Note: NHS Shetland is 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 27 September 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: 20 June 2022
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