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Evaluation of the Drug System Change Pilots

Published: May 2012

Aim

The Drug System Change Pilots, or DSCPs, were set up to test how drug treatment delivery in prison and the community could be improved, by adopting more user-led, outcome-focused approaches. 

We led a collaboration commissioned to evaluate seven pilot partnerships in 2009.

Specific objectives of the pilots were to:

  • Describe the range of activities, how treatment delivery systems were changed and the outputs of each pilot area.
  • Assess the outcomes and impacts for each pilot area, and for the programme as a whole.
  • Identify innovation and good practice.
  • Provide comparisons between pilot partnerships. 

Findings 

You can download the full report, some key findings were:

  • The importance of partnership working in affecting change in the area of drug treatment.
  • That pooled budgets, system-wide performance monitoring, strong leadership and the commitment of senior stakeholders are important foundations to achieving continuity of care for prisoners and ex-offenders.
  • Facilitators to delivering effective single points of assessment for ex-offenders include independence from existing treatment providers, a central location for easy access, clearly defined referral routes and adequate levels of well-trained staff.

Methods 

This mixed-method evaluation had three components:

  • Qualitative longitudinal case studies involving depth interviews and focus groups with staff and service users across the seven pilot areas.
  • Quantitative analysis of administrative data, to measure the impact of the DSCPs on service users and their outcomes.
  • Economic evaluation to assess the costs and benefits of delivering the DSCPs.