Drug and Alcohol Support – Humankind

What our survey of people we support told us

Jasmine Rocks

Hello everyone. Joe Alderdice here, Humankind’s Inclusion Manager. 

Back in September at Humankind, we ran our annual survey of people accessing our services. This is always a valuable opportunity to check in with communities, beyond the people involved in regular ‘Working Together’ consultation activities, about what we’re doing well and where we need to improve. 

We smashed our previous record for engagement with the survey, with responses from 3,748 people. That’s 12% of people receiving structured support from us, an increase of 40% on the previous year. A big reason for this increase was limiting reducing the length of the survey and the time it took to complete, and adding optional equality, diversity and inclusion questions. 

In all but one of the questions, over 90% of people responded ‘agree’ or ‘strongly agree’, with 94% of people saying they get the support they need. 97% of people said they feel safe in their service – up from 94% in 2022. Only 88% of people said they knew how to raise a complaint, give feedback or make suggestions. This is up from 86% in 2022, but is still highlighted as a key area for improvement. 

A table showing the organisation-wide response to the qualitative questions people were asked. The ‘Positive Response’ figure combines ‘Strongly Agree’ and ‘Agree’ responses (dark and light green in the table), in comparison to neutral, and ‘negative’ responses (‘Disagree’ and ‘Strongly Disagree’). The organisational response to the qualitative questions people were asked.

This time we were keen to hear from more people who experience barriers to engagement. It’s always good when people tell us what we do well, but we can learn even more when people give us uncomfortable truths. Special recognition must be given to David Goodwin, a volunteer at New Vision Bradford, who singlehandedly surveyed 44 people at risk of disengagement. 

The survey had a box for additional comments, another valuable source of insight. Service managers have access to all the comments about their service to inform their plans for continued improvement. It is essential that people know their comments have been taken onboard, so we’ve created a ‘You said, we’re doing…’ poster template which our services can display in buildings or include in newsletters. 

So, what’s next? Well despite the brilliant work in Bradford, we did not meet our target of speaking to 5% of people who face barriers to engagement. We are currently considering alternative approaches to hearing and learning more from this group. Watch this space. 

I want to thank everyone who supported the survey, particularly those who took the time to provide their valuable feedback. 

Northumberland Recovery Partnership joins Humankind

Jasmine Rocks

We are delighted to welcome the Northumberland Recovery Partnership (NRP) service into Humankind from 1 October 2023. Northumberland Recovery Partnership is a dedicated service for anyone in Northumberland aged 18+ who is experiencing problems with drugs and/or alcohol.

The service offers a range of support provided by medical staff, nurses, and dedicated Recovery Navigators. This includes community-based recovery programmes, help to stay physically healthy, and support with people’s next steps into employment, housing and better health. Twenty three staff and 4 volunteers are transferring to Humankind.

The lead provider for the Northumberland Recovery Partnership continues to be the Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (CNTW) which, from October onwards will be working in partnership with Humankind.

Christine Hutchinson, Director of Community Substance Misuse Services with Humankind said “We are really looking forward to working with CNTW to deliver high quality services to the people of Northumberland”

The service will continue to provide the same range of effective, evidence-based support and wherever possible, people will continue to be supported by the same staff. The main change is to the non-residential rehabilitation service, currently the Oaktrees program / building. Going forward, this will be delivered using Humankind’s Recovery Academy, a bespoke recovery programme tailored to offer a range of recovery options. This will build on the existing recovery services, ensuring recovery is open and accessible to all from the start of peoples’ recovery journey.

Find out more about the Northumberland Recovery Partnership