In October The BRISTOLIAN website reported exclusively on the chaos grip- ping both Bristol Drugs Project (BDP) and the Addiction Recovery Agency (ARA) caused by Coalition cuts overseen locally by Sue ‘Off Her Head’ Bandcroft of the Substance Misuse Team (SMT).
Bonkers Bandcroft claimed that “re- organisation” of the two services would “place the clients at the centre of the process”… Whilst SLASHING JOBS and INCREASING WORKLOADS!
Worried drug workers contacted The BRISTOLIANpredicting serious problems with the service in the near future – and lo and behold, just a few months later, what do we find?
“A judge in Bristol has raised concerns over a drug addict who did not get treatment SIX MONTHS after a court order was given. A probation officer was summonsed to Bristol Crown Court explain the delay, after the nine-month order was issued. The officer blamed a lack of available treatment places and a rise in the number of alcoholics in the area.”
A BDP spokesperson added:
“I think what we have at the moment is we just have a very, very large number of new people coming and not enough treatment capacity to be able to see every- one within a reasonable time.” Nothing to do with the cuts to the workforce and service then? Has alcoholism suddenly become fashionable in Bristol?
Perhaps Charlotte ‘Bacardi’ Leslie should be consulted?
Chaos has gripped Bristol’s drug and alcohol services as Con-Dem cuts bite deep into budgets…
Over the last twenty years a group of organisations has handled advice, support, housing and other services for people with drug and alcohol problems in Bristol. Overseen by the ‘Safer Bristol’ Substance Misuse Team (SMT) bodies such as Bristol Drugs Project (BDP) and the Addiction Recovery Agency (ARA) handled different parts of the service to aid the recovery and support of addicts.
Earlier this year some idiot (thought to be head of the SMT Sue Bandcroft) decided to unleash the FREE MARKET on these services by asking BDP, ARA and other organisations to bid for a much-reduced budget slashed by Con-Dem austerity measures. The result? Like tossing a bone to a bunch of starving dogs – yes, a dog fight ensued, creating chaos for drug workers and their clients across the city as ARA, BDP and the others fought it out for a pitiful pot of money.
Overseeing this mess in July, Bandcroft and the SMT, throwing decades of addiction experience to the wind, went with the CHEAPEST BIDS, causing whole parts of the service to be relocated and reorganised. Then they promptly washed their hands and walked away from it all, leaving ARA, BDP and other services in chaos. The heads of BDP and ARA both knew in April that undercutting each other for the Con-Dem bone would lead to massive cuts in the services and redundancies, but they refused to inform their employees of the situation until it was a done deal.
On Friday 1st November (D-Day) demoralised drug workers will find out if they still have a job after the expected 30% REDUNDANCIES – and clients will be forced to relocate as drug services are passed from one organisation to another like a crazy ‘pass-the-parcel’. The SMT will sit like a dysfunctional Pontius Pilate behind its laughable statement “the re-commissioning places the clients at the centre of the process”, while employees and clients will ask…