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Volume 496: debated on Wednesday 9 September 2009

Drugs: Rehabilitation

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what the reasons are for the nine per cent. reduction in the pooled treatment budget for Milton Keynes from the National Treatment Agency in 2009-10; (280678)

(2) what funding has been given to Milton Keynes from the National Treatment Agency in each of the last five years; and how much has been so allocated in the next two years;

(3) how many problematic drug users (a) there were in Milton Keynes and (b) received treatment in Milton Keynes in each of the last five years.

[Official Report, 30 June 2009, Vol. 495, c. 212-13W.]

Letter of correction from Gillian Merron:

An error has been identified in the written answer given to the hon. Member for North-East Milton Keynes (Mr. Lancaster) on 30 June 2009. I am sorry that the figures given in the second table were incorrect.

The correct answer should have been:

Until 2008-09 the pooled treatment budget (PTB) was allocated against a basket of indicators of social and economic deprivation known to reflect drug use as the best available proxy of treatment need. As a result of differences in performance between drug partnerships in getting people into treatment this funding formula was resulting in unjustifiable variations in the amount of central subvention for each person's treatment.

2009-10 is the second year of a process which seeks to produce a fairer allocation system which more accurately matches need, activity and resources.

The new process is based on three elements:

25 per cent. of the allocation is based on the indicators underpinning the previous formula to reflect the differential cost of responding to different levels of complex need such as homelessness, mental heath, family breakdown and unemployment;

75 per cent. is based on activity in the treatment system with areas being allocated a set amount per person treated effectively; and

The final element is an area cost adjustment figure to reflect the varying costs of delivering services in different part of the country.

To promote an orderly alteration to service planning, the change is being introduced over three years with the annual maximum reduction set at 5 per cent. in 2008-09, 15 per cent. in 2009-10 and 30 per cent. in 2010-11.

Funding allocated to Milton Keynes in each of the last five years is as follows:












For the next two years, the indicative amount for 2010-11 is £925,000 (announced January 2008). This however was based on performance at the time predicted to grow at 1 per cent. a year. Growth in Milton Keynes is currently anticipated to be in excess of this so the final allocation may increase. The exact allocation will not be known until January 2010.

Based on data collected by the University of Glasgow covering the period 2004-05 to 2006-07, the National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse have advised Milton Keynes that an estimated 930 problematic drug users (PDUs) should be used for planning purposes. However, there are insufficient data on the number of PDUs to determine how the PDU population has changed over time.

The number of problematic drug users in treatment in Milton Keynes is only available for the last four years and is as follows: