Our Gateshead

Save Oaktrees Gateshead Key Facts

Key Facts about Oaktrees and Drug & Alcohol Treatment in Gateshead

• The Project opened in 2009 and was the first such project in the North East. It has gone on to be replicated in 3 other places.

• Since it opened over 500 people have entered treatment and 269 people have completed the programme.

• 146 have attended Oaktrees from Gateshead, 82 people have graduated and we have 71 abstinent former clients.

• The cost of a commissioned place at Oaktrees has remained unchanged since it opened in 2009

• In 2013 the average cost of abstinence based treatment in residential rehab was £669pw. Oaktrees is around half this price.

• Cutting Oaktrees will leave Gateshead without any abstinence based treatment.

• The Project was evaluated from 2010-12 by Dr David Best, the foremost academic in recovery research in the UK. He stated that “Oaktrees is right at the forefront of the emerging Recovery Movement in the UK with its commitment to enabling and supporting individual and community levels of recovery capital, and in its commitment to evidencing effectiveness.”

• Gateshead currently pays for 6 places of Oaktrees abstinence based treatment and already has less than surrounding areas - North Tyneside and Northumberland who have a smaller budget for Drug and Alcohol Treatment each have 24 places; Newcastle spends more than £600k pa on residential and non-residential abstinence based treatment. Gateshead citizens will therefore be significantly disadvantaged compared with those in surrounding boroughs since they will have no access to abstinence based treatment.

• Currently 60% of people attending Oaktrees are men and 40% are women. It is a service that is attractive to women because it allows them to recover in their own home. The council’s Equality Impact Assessment figures indicate that across both D&A treatment a total of 31.5% of people are women. This is a significantly lower rate than Oaktrees and its closure will disadvantage women’s access to D&A treatment.

• In 2013, the weekly cost of substitute prescribing was £54 pw. A client attending a 12 week programme at Oaktrees therefore equates to 75 weeks of substitute prescribing, ie 1 year 5 months. Data for Gateshead in 2013 indicate that 11% were in treatment for 5-6 years; 25% of people were in treatment for over 6 years.

•  In 2013 15% of drug users in Gateshead were in treatment for over 21 years. Each of these people has cost more than £59,000 for treatment alone, i.e. just two of these people cost more than the annual amount going to Oaktrees.

• Gateshead Council’s Strategic Needs Assessment 2012-17 highlights the fact that alcohol related hospital admissions in Gateshead are significantly higher than the UK average and still increasing (2526 admissions per 100,000 compared to average of 1743). The first two women in Oaktrees in 2009 had a total of 13 hospital admissions in the 6 months prior to going through the programme. In the 6 years since completing, they have not had any hospital admissions.

• Gateshead Council’s Strategic Needs Assessment 2012-17 states that it will ensure that residents are involved in healthy initiatives and benefit from the best possible facilities. Closing Oaktrees is denying residents access an evidence based, proven alcohol intervention with nothing to replace it.

• The budget proposals state that “Under these proposals, the core public health programme will provide key services such as drug and alcohol treatment”.  Withdrawing funding for the only form of abstinence based treatment in Gateshead is not meeting this undertaking.

• The current participants at Oaktrees state that in the 12 months prior to treatment at Oaktrees on average each client:

 Had 14 interventions from acute NHS (ambulance &/or A&E) services and/or the police per year

 3.4 alcohol related ambulance attendances per year (range 0-7)

 3.6 alcohol related treatments at A&E per year

 1.6 arrests involving being detained per year

 Cost Emergency and acute services alone is £5,811. 

 The range of costs per client is £3,256 - £11,411 per year prior to treatment.  The cost savings of sending a person to Oaktrees in Gateshead is on average £1,476 per year per person – As Gateshead commission 24 places a year this would be a total cost of £139,464 for these people alone (a net saving of £34,962).  This does not include costs relating to primary or social care. 

• Changing Lives is working to lever in additionally funding to support the recovery community – particularly through housing and employability services to create a more sustainable recovery.



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