Cumbria alcohol and drug service to be run from Manchester

Cumbria's drug and alcohol services are being taken over by a health trust outside the county.

From July, support for adults with addiction problems will be run by the Greater Manchester West Mental Health Foundation Trust.

Glenn Turp, of the Royal College of Nursing, said he was worried the decision was based on saving money.

But the Cumbrian Drug and Alcohol Action Team (DAAT), said the move would build on a "really good" service.

The current service, which is put out for tender every three years, is run by several agencies in the county and co-ordinated by DAAT.

Barbara Fleary general manager of Cumbria DAAT, said: "The Greater Manchester trust has the most innovative approach to recovery.

"This isn't about doing away with a failing service but building on a really good service."

'Fragmented service'

But Mr Turp said he was concerned that running a service at "arm's length" would lead to "fragmentation."

He said: "What we would acknowledge is that the Great Manchester mental health services has an excellent reputation but the service in Cumbria is equally very good quality.

"The real issue for concern is that these contracts are constantly being renegotiated every three years and you end up with massive changes which does not help deliver good quality services.

"Many of these decisions are price-driven and that is a real concern - there are challenges with providing a service from arm's length and we need to make sure there are safeguards in place so services do not become fragmented."

A spokesman for the Greater Manchester Foundation Trust said it was looking forward to delivering the service.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites