Liberal Democrat county councillors in Surrey have expressed concern that proposed changes to the arrangements for drug and alcohol detoxification will make it more difficult for those trying to beat addiction.
Surrey County Council is currently consulting on proposals that include the closure of the in-patient facility at Windmill House in Chertsey, leaving only one in-patient bed for the whole of the county – which will be located outside of Surrey. Other patients will be required to attend day centres in either Guildford or Redhill, and will have to return to their homes in the evenings and at weekends in a programme called “ambulatory detoxification.”
The consultation, which ends on 20th May 2018, follows a reduction in the Public Health budget for adult substance misuse treatment services of 24% from April 2018, following cuts approved by Conservative councillors at the Budget meeting in February.
Cllr Angela Goodwin, Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Health & Social Care, said today:
“These cuts will directly impact on some of the most vulnerable people in our community. It is simply incredible to think that a county the size of Surrey will be left with only one in-patient bed to cover a population of 1.1 million – and it won’t even be in Surrey! We urge all those affected to respond to the current public consultation to make clear that these proposals are not acceptable”.
Cllr Chris Botten, Liberal Democrat county councillor for Caterham Hill, added:
“Our concern is that patients who have made the huge decision to submit themselves to a detox programme need to be away from the locations and situations which they associate with their drinking or drug use and that is why in-patient detox beds are so important. We feel that the clinical outcomes will be poorer and patients will find their lives have got even harder. That’s why all service users and patients should make their voices heard as part of the consultation to make sure that Surrey County Council listens and then changes these plans”.
A copy of the consultation can be found here: