At a joint meeting of the Swansea and Neath Port Talbot Public Services Boards in October 2020 a paper was submitted and approved for establishing an ‘Integrated Public Health Model for Substance Misuse in Swansea and Neath Port Talbot’ as the key driver for transforming substance use services. One of the five key recommendations for action from this paper was to establish an expert advisory panel to support the development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of Western Bay Area Planning Board for Substance Misuse (APB) and to act as a critical friend.
Western Bay APB formally agreed to explore this approach and appointed Figure 8 Consultancy Services Ltd. (Dundee, Scotland) to set up and facilitate an independent Commission that can identify and investigate the key causes and consequences of the harms associated with drug use (in particular, drug-related deaths) for individuals and their families; and subsequently recommend robust and realistic policy and practical measures to address these. Figure 8 were approached to support this work as they were responsible for setting up and facilitating the work of the independent Dundee Drugs Commission ( between 2018-2022.
The independence of the Western Bay Drugs Commission will enable it to be rigorous and challenging whilst also acknowledging the challenges faced by local services. There will be considerable emphasis given to the voices of those with lived/living experience and families.
The Commission was formally launched in December at an event held at the stadium. They will be holding a series of evidence gathering meetings during the course of 2023 and further details of these will be available shortly.
For the Commission to identify the priority areas for investigation, an initial call for evidence is now being issued. The Commission would like to invite anyone who wants to comment, whether you are: someone affected by drug and/or alcohol use (your own or someone else’s); a professional; or a member of the public. We have devised a short survey which is now open for completion. Responses can be made by any individual or a ‘corporate’ response can be submitted on behalf of any service/organisation/group. ALL RESPONSES WILL BE KEPT ANONYMOUS AND ANY IDENTIFYING INFORMATION WILL BE REMOVED FROM OUR ANALYSIS.
All responses must be received by Friday 19th May, 2023 @ 5pm
Through this initial call for evidence, the Commission want to identify the issues that are most important to people locally to ensure that the scope of the Commission’s work over the next year is focused on the most important areas that will help to reduce drug harms and drug-related deaths.
With this in mind, the questions that the Commission would like to receive responses on, are as follows: