Islington’s new drug and alcohol service congratulated on performance

Islington Town Hall. Photograph: Islington Council.

Islington councillors have praised reports of a successful first year for the borough’s new adult drug and alcohol service, Better Lives.

Service users reported themselves “happy” with recent changes which have seen them relocated due to refurbishment at a 15 November meeting of Islington’s health and care scrutiny committee.

The update provided to the committee by Better Lives stated the changes had initially caused some “anxiety” to users of the service, but Islington Client Drug & Alcohol Service representative Richard Philip moved to praise the inclusivity of the changes.

Philip said: “It was rough to start off with, but it’s getting there. Service users are happy, that’s all I can say. They’re happy with their treatment.

“The key working with clients is generally better. They’re listening more, taking note more, and they’re really trying. They’re really trying.”

Reported outcomes for service users were positive across the board, according to data provided by Better Lives.

Users’ feelings that they had a personal support network and knew how to manage the risk of their substance abuse on average almost doubled between assessment and first review.

Agreement with the statment, ‘I am kind to myself’ went up by a third in the same period.

The service is provided by Camden & Islington NHS Foundation Trust (C&I), in partnership with charities WDP and Blenheim.

The consolidation of five different services was established in April 2018.

Cllr Martin Klute (Lab, St Peter’s), who chaired the committee, said: “That really is a good news story. After two or three years of hearing the old service reports, my heart was sinking and I was sorry it was on the agenda.

“Congratulations on where you’ve got to, and please do keep going.”