Drug helpers join forces to cut wait time
TWO of the state’s residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation providers have cut their waiting lists by joining forces to ensure people who need intensive support receive it quickly.
The Salvation Army, the Launceston City Mission and the state Alcohol and Drug Services have formalised a long-term relationship to better streamline services and prioritise treatments.
The collaboration — labelled Partnership in Alcohol and other Drugs Residential Treatment — has earned the praise of Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs Council chief executive Alison Lai, who noted waiting lists for residential treatment were an ongoing concern for the state.
“This is an example of the community sector not sitting back and waiting for the problem to get worse, or waiting for the Government to sort the issue out for them,” Ms Lai said.
“Proactively working together to communicate across organisations and use what beds we have available in the most effective way possible is having an immediate and significantly important impact on the delivery of services to Tasmanians across our island.”
Salvation Army alcohol and other drugs state manager Penny Chugg agreed the fortnightly panel meetings had paid dividends.
“One of the key benefits is that we’re able to work together in that collaborative process to prioritise,” she said.
“We can look at the individual’s requirements and make that decision. If we’ve got six beds in the state available and we’ve got 20 people waiting to get in, who do we take first?”
The Salvation Army’s Hobart waiting list was six people on Friday.
City Mission’s Missiondale, in the North, had a waiting list of fewer than 30 people, down from more than 40, according to chief executive Stephen Brown.
Mr Brown said: “This gives us an opportunity to look at all the resources in the state.”
The State Government said it would soon announce the provider of 30 residential rehab beds.
Ms Chugg emphasised that anyone who needed support would receive it immediately.
“A lot of people think if you have an [alcohol and other drugs] issue that a residential bed is the only treatment option, and in fact there are quite a lot of other options,” she said.