The National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse (NTA) has published its 2012-2013 Action Plan. Although alcohol is mentioned throughout actions pertaining to drug and alcohol objectives, a short alcohol chapter outlines:
- Implement improvements in the alcohol treatment system outlined in the Alcohol Strategy by working with DH to identify the support needed by local areas to secure improvements in alcohol treatment and begin implementation – ongoing
- Ensure the full functionality, consistency and recording capability of the National Alcohol Treatment Monitoring System – ongoing
- Amend alcohol core dataset – ongoing
- Work with DH to develop an alcohol treatment capacity model – ongoing.
The NTA has previously published National alcohol treatment statistics reports compiling all local data gathered via local treatment data monitoring. The NTA also recently published a JSNA support pack for drug and alcohol commissioners. The NTA's function will be integrated within Public Health England by April 2013.
Recently the NTA's Chief Executive Paul Hayes spoke at an alcohol event at which he encouraged commissioners to 'pool resources to expand specialist alcohol treatment':
"Through local health and wellbeing boards, we should challenge CCGs, the NHS Commissioning Board, and the NHS in general that if they are going to benefit downstream from investment in alcohol treatment, they should be helping local authorities by supporting that investment."
However Mr Hayes also warned against commissioners from dis-investing in drug treatment to improve alcohol services. But further comments that there are more drug users in need of treatment than moderate or severely dependent drinkers, and that crime reduction benefits are greater from drug treatment, were not likely to have impressed all.