Drug and Alcohol Procurement – Stakeholder Engagement Report

Report cover

The Public Health Agency (PHA) commissioned a stakeholder engagement process to help inform decisions around the commissioning requirements and priorities for drugs and alcohol services to be provided under PHA contracts in the future.

A total of 216 participants attended the 11 online video conferencing workshops and 40 responses were received via the on-line survey across November and December 2020.

In summary there was strong consensus from across all sectors that PHA should consider delaying alcohol and drug procurement to allow:

  • The consultation process for the New Substance Use Strategy – ‘Making Life Better – Preventing Harm and Empowering Recovery: A Strategic Framework to Tackle the Harm from Substance Use’ to be completed and the Strategy published to allow future procurement to have synergy with outcomes outlined in the new Strategy.
  • Alignment of Alcohol and Drugs and Mental Health resources through the development of a new Regional Commissioning Framework to ensure a cohesive and systematic approach to commissioning from across HSC and the voluntary & community sectors.

A PDF copy of the Stakeholder Engagement Report is at the bottom of this page.

The Stakeholder Engagement Report represented and reflected a very extensive engagement and consultation process that inevitably meant that there were a number of critical issues raised that need to be carefully reviewed. The PHA has taken time to seriously consider the issues raised through the report in the wider context of key factors that impact on procurement processes and planning. This included performance reviews of existing tendered services, evidence reviews, needs data, priorities reflecting strategic and policy context and legal considerations.

The PHA would like to put on record our sincere thanks to all those stakeholders who participated and contributed in the Stakeholder Engagement workshops and on-line survey for their valued and insightful contributions. As an organisation we sincerely value your assistance in helping to shape future procurement and commissioning processes.

Following careful consideration of the issues raised, the PHA has consequently approved the delay of alcohol and drug procurement to align with the new Substance Use Strategy and Protect Life 2 procurement schedules.

This will enable a revised process to be developed that will take account of the new regional Substance Use Strategy and align services across the drug, alcohol and mental health areas to ensure best outcomes for clients are achieved.

This will include:

  • Service improvements identified as a result of the current service review and stakeholder engagement are actioned, as far as possible in agreement with service providers, for the interim period, to ensure the best outcomes for clients are achieved.
  • Performance measurement and assessment processes are reviewed to ensure information provided is able to best demonstrate the impact services are having on improving outcomes for clients. This approach will be based on the principles of Outcomes Based Accountability.
  • A UKGDPR assessment of all services will be completed and contract Terms and Conditions updated as appropriate.
  • PHA and the HSCB producing, across all tiers of service, a new outcome focused strategic plan for services, to replace the Alcohol and Drugs Services Regional Commissioning Framework.

To facilitate this process and provide stability to existing services, PHA intends to extend the Direct Award Contracts that are currently in place with service-providers to December 2022, in the first instance. This position will be reviewed further, once the timeframes for completing the new regional strategic plan and undertaking a new procurement process have been agreed.


A4, PDF, 55 pages