Survey of services John Perrott - APPGITA

Survey of services John Perrott - APPGITA

Harrow PCT NO – Have only dealt with codeine products

I am writing from NHS North West London which administers Freedom of

Information Act 2000 (FOIA) requests on behalf of Westminster, Hammersmith &

Fulham, Kensington & Chelsea, Brent, Harrow, Hounslow, Hillingdon and Ealing

PCTs. This response in on behalf of NHS Harrow.

You requested the following:

Please can you tell me what services your PCT/CCG provides for patients who are

dependent upon prescribed only benzodiazepine and z drug tranquillisers and sleeping

tablets and who do not abuse these or other substances?

Would you please include details of the availability of withdrawal advice and


In my experience the Drugs and Alcohol Teams routinely do not treat involuntary

tranquilliser addiction but only illicit addiction.

The response to your request is as follows:

The drug treatment provider (Compass Harrow) do not usually receive referrals for

those who are addicted to other tranquilisers, however they have had to develop

reduction regimes for clients who are referred on some codeine based pain killers. In

this situation they would work in partnership with the prescriber to look at a reduction

regime, usually the Prescriber would continue the prescribing with support and advice

from a specialist doctor at Compass, and also receive Psychosocial interventions

alongside this. They have done this with GP’s and also consultants who may have

prescribed this medication after an operation or as on-going pain relief, this

arrangement has worked really well.

In regards to Benzodiazepines again the treatment provider would support the

prescriber to reduce this medication and in some cases where the reason for the initial

commencement is due to mental health we would support a referral to the CMHT and

Liaise with them. They would normally only take over the prescribing in

circumstances where the client is being prescribed an opiate substitute by us and this

would always be on a reduction regime. All clients would be offered Group work and

one to one support alongside any other intervention or support for the Prescriber.

If you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely,

Andrew Lall

Freedom of Information Lead

Havering PCT NO - see Redbridge

Herefordshire PCT NO – I rang the DAT and they do not understand benzo withdrawal and their work lies in

treating substance misuse of mainly opioids. They did not understand withdrawal symptoms or the

reassurance and support required during withdrawal and would apply inappropriate psychosocial

interventions used in substance misuse treatment. Benzo addicts would have to join illicit opioid users in any

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