• Community
  • Community substance misuse service

Via - Merton

Overall: Good read more about inspection ratings

7-8 Langdale Parade, Upper Green East, Mitcham, CR4 2PF 0300 303 4610

Provided and run by:
Via Community Ltd

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Background to this inspection

Updated 12 February 2020

WDP Merton is a community-based alcohol detoxification and substitute prescribing service provided by Westminster Drug Project. The service provides a range of treatment that includes prescribing and community detoxification, specific alcohol treatment pathways, one to one support, group support, needle exchange and harm reduction. These services were previously provided by a different service provider within Merton before WDP Merton acquired this contract. At the time of our inspection, the service had 265 clients and 22 staff. There were six staff leavers in the previous 12 months due to the change in service provider.

The service has a registered manager with the Care Quality Commission. The service is registered by the Care Quality Commission to provide the regulated activity of treatment of disease, disorder and injury.

This was the first inspection of Westminster Drug Project Merton, since its registration in April 2018.

Overall inspection


Updated 12 February 2020

WDP Merton is a community-based alcohol detoxification and substitute prescribing service provided by Westminster Drug Project.

We rated WDP Merton as good because:

  • The service provided safe care. The premises where clients were seen were safe and clean. The number of clients on the caseload of the teams, and of individual members of staff, was not too high to prevent staff from giving each client the time they needed. Staff assessed and managed risk well and followed good practice with respect to safeguarding. All staff had completed safeguarding adults and children level 3 training on how to recognise and report abuse, and they knew how to apply it.
  • Staff developed holistic, recovery-oriented care plans informed by a comprehensive assessment. They provided a range of treatments suitable to the needs of the clients and in line with national guidance about best practice, such as motivational interviewing and the International Treatment Effectiveness Project (ITEP).
  • The teams included or had access to the full range of specialists required to meet the needs of clients under their care. The service included a team of nurses, a doctor, non-medical prescribers, recovery practitioners, volunteer counsellors, administrators, managers and a Building Recovery in the Community Coordinator (BRIC).
  • Staff completed comprehensive assessments with clients on accessing the service in a timely manner. Assessments covered drug and alcohol history, safeguarding concerns including social needs, risks, mental health care needs and physical health needs including sexual health needs.
  • Clients informed us that they were treated with compassion, kindness, respect and their privacy was always respected. During the inspection we observed staff talking to clients in a caring and respectful manner.
  • The service went over and above to ensure that clients working towards discharge had the necessary support in place. The service held a moving forward group, which was a 12-week programme that supported clients in working towards being discharged from the service and reintegrated back into the community. The service had a good working relationship with the local inpatient rehabilitation service for clients whose needs could not be met by WDP Merton.
  • Staff were exceptional in recognising and responding to the needs of the local population. For example, the service had recognised that there was a large Tamil population that required support with alcohol misuse. The service employed a Tamil speaking apprentice to provide specific group interventions in Tamil. The service had translated information leaflets about the service into Tamil and Polish, in recognition that some clients within the local community may not be able to speak and read English as a first language.
  • Staff had gone over and above in ensuring that clients had access to education and work opportunities. Clients had the opportunity to access an employment support programme created by WDP called Giving Something Back (GSB). Staff had established a partnership with a local job centre who provided monthly drop-ins at WDP Merton to provide advice and opportunities for clients to get back into employment.
  • The service was innovative in creating a reward scheme to encourage clients, carers and families to engage with the service. Clients could collect points on to a card by attending groups within the service. They could then spend the points with partners within the local community who had signed up to the scheme. This meant that the service was rewarding client engagement through an earn and spend points system.
  • Leaders could clearly demonstrate that they had the skills, knowledge and experience to perform their roles. The manager of the service had over 13 years’ experience working in substance misuse services. Staff told us that leaders were visible in the service and approachable.
  • All six staff we spoke with said that they felt respected, supported and valued by managers within the service. Staff spoke highly of the service manager and the operations manager and expressed that they felt positive and proud working within the team. Staff felt able to raise concerns with managers if they needed to.
  • Staff success was recognised through a WDP award scheme. The staff team within WDP Merton had recently won an award recognising that they had gone the extra mile within the service.