• Community
  • Community substance misuse service

County Durham Integrated Drug and Alcohol Service

Overall: Good read more about inspection ratings

Saddler House, Saddler Street, Bishop Auckland, County Durham, DL14 7BH

Provided and run by:
Spectrum Community Health C.I.C.

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Background to this inspection

Updated 28 April 2022

County Durham Integrated Drug and Alcohol Service provides community substance misuse support for adults in County Durham. Their services include substitute medication and support with detoxification from alcohol and/or drugs in the community, support to reduce the harm of drugs and/or alcohol and achieve a balanced approach to life. The service also provides support to families, group therapy sessions, health and wellbeing checks, health screenings, blood testing and vaccinations. County Durham Integrated Drug and Alcohol Service also supported clients going through the criminal justice system.

The local council had commissioned an integrated substance misuse service, combining services between two organisations. A non-profit organisation held the contract for care coordination within County Durham Integrated Drug and Alcohol Service and provided psychosocial interventions, the clinical elements of the service had been subcontracted to Spectrum Community Health Community Interest Company. County Durham Integrated Drug and Alcohol Service was the overall name for the partnership between the two organisations.

This inspection only observed the Spectrum element of the service, and the rating applied is specific to the clinical care they provide for County Durham Integrated Drug and Alcohol Service. Spectrum Community Health Community Interest Company at County Durham Integrated Drug and Alcohol Service has been registered with the Care Quality Commission since 14 June 2019 to carry out the regulated activities of diagnostic and screening procedures and treatment of disease, disorder or injury. There was a registered manager for this service. The service operated from five main hubs across County Durham Integrated Drug and Alcohol Service, these were: Durham, Bishop Auckland, Seaham, Peterlee and Consett.

The service had not been previously inspected.

Overall inspection


Updated 28 April 2022

We rated this location as good because:

  • Feedback from people who use the service and those who were close to them was continually positive about the way staff treated them. Staff treated clients with compassion and kindness, respected their privacy and dignity, and understood the individual needs of clients. They actively involved clients and families and carers in care decisions. Feedback from people who use the service and those close to them was extremely positive. People thought that staff went the extra mile and their care and support exceeded their expectations.

  • The service provided safe care. Clinical 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 ensured that clients who required urgent care were seen promptly.

  • The service provided a range of treatments that were informed by best-practice guidance and suitable to the needs of the clients. Staff engaged in clinical audit to evaluate the quality of care they provided. Staff within the service were proactive in recognising and addressing issues facing clients within the community.

  • The teams included or had access to the full range of specialists required to meet the needs of the clients. Managers ensured that these staff received training, supervision and appraisal. Staff worked well together as a multidisciplinary team and with relevant services outside the organisation.

  • The service was working with multiple external agencies to provide training and resources to better understand their clients and to keep them safe. The service had recently invested in a rapid Hepatitis C testing machine to enable staff to obtain fast results and refer clients for treatment the same day.

  • The service was easy to access. Staff assessed and treated clients who required urgent care promptly and those who did not require urgent care did not wait too long to start treatment. The criteria for referral to the service did not exclude people who would have benefitted from care.

  • There was a strong culture of openness, caring, transparency and an environment in which learning, improvement and innovation was promoted and used to adapt the service. Managers encouraged staff to raise any concerns and there was a freedom to speak up guardian within the service.

  • All staff were positive and proud to work for the service. They spoke highly of the management and felt supported in their roles. There was strong collaboration, team-working and support across all functions and a common focus on improving the quality and sustainability of care and people’s experiences.

  • The service was well led, and the governance processes ensured that procedures relating to the work of the service ran smoothly.