Ministers Visit APB Commissioned Substance Misuse Service
As a follow-on to the British Irish Council substance misuse policy meeting that was hosted by Wales and held in Cardiff on September 21st, Ministers from other devolved nations requested a visit to a local service and to experience firsthand how Wales and how Cardiff are responding to substance misuse needs.
Conrad Eydmann, Head of Partnership Strategy and Commissioning for Cardiff and Vale Area Planning Board, arranged to meet with visiting delegates, staff and service users at the Bridge Programme based in the Salvation Army’s Ty Gobaith hostel in Butetown, Cardiff.
The event was attended by a range of delegates that included;
Catherine Byrne TD (Minister of State for Communities and the National Drugs Strategy) Government of Ireland
Aileen Campbell MSP (Minister for Public Health and Sport) Scottish Government
Kate Beecroft MHK (Minister of Health and Social Care) Isle of Man Government.
The visiting ministers were all impressed with how the service had been designed and developed, the impact and outcomes of the services on offer, the dedication of the staff, and most of all the progress and achievement made by all the service users they were able to meet.
What is the Bridge Programme?
The Bridge Programme is a unique collaboration now in its 12th year that has been set up to overcome the barriers to residential treatment services that can often be experienced by those who are homeless or roofless, but who are often most in need of this level of support.
It was recognised that standard procedures for assessment and placement for residential services were challenging for homeless service users to follow, and the Bridge was designed as an alternative based on the needs of this client group.
The Bridge is hosted and managed by the Salvation Army in Cardiff, with medical and clinical support provided by the local NHS addictions services. Individuals who are homeless and in need of residential detoxification and rehabilitation are assessed and admitted onto the programme which is contained within the Ty Gobaith Salvation Army hostel in Cardiff.
The programme includes a preparatory period where service users are provided with structured therapeutic interventions aimed at giving them the best possible chance of success. This is followed by the detoxification process that is supervised by a nurse from the NHS addictions team, with consultant psychiatrist input and is followed by a structured aftercare programme that moves in stages from the hostel through to placement in one of the service community accommodation units, and finally with the intention of securing an independent tenancy for those completing the programme.
The Bridge is highly successful as a service that has been designed according to the unique needs of a particular service user group, and it exemplifies the principles of person centred services, and the benefits of an end-to-end treatment care and support pathway.