York Drug and Alcohol Service rated "Outstanding" by the CQC


A substance misuse service has been rated outstanding following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in April.

CQC inspected York Drug and Alcohol Service, run by Spectrum Community Health CIC, and found a service where people benefitted from outstanding care. York Drug and Alcohol Service provides community substance misuse treatment for adults and young people. Following the inspection, the service was rated outstanding overall and for being caring and responsive. It was rated good for being safe, well-led and effective.

Brian Cranna, CQC head of hospital inspection, said:

“When we inspected York Drug and Alcohol Service, we were extremely impressed by the outstanding level of support people received. Leaders and staff were highly motivated and offered care that was kind, discreet and promoted people’s dignity. Feedback was extremely positive, and people told us staff listened to them and helped them achieve their goals.

“We were impressed with the service’s partnership working with local hostels palliative care teams, hepatology and maternity services. Staff worked closely with  a domestic abuse service and produced a bag of essential items to support women experiencing domestic abuse.

“Leaders and staff should be commended for their innovation by continuing to support people and offer appointments during the pandemic. An outdoor clinic had been created in the garden area to ensure anyone needing care or treatment could be seen.

“Staff were able to respond to any urgent or changing priorities due to effective planning processes and there was nobody on a waiting list at the time of inspection. The whole team deserve to be congratulated for all their hard work and commitment.”

CQC inspectors also found:

  • There was a strong culture of openness and transparency across the service.
  • Staff assessed and managed risk well ensuring they had capacity to prioritise people who needed to be seen promptly.
  • The service worked exceptionally well in partnership with multiple organisations and professionals to enable people to access the best care.
  • Staff undertook and engaged in regular clinical audits to evaluate the quality of the care provided.
  • Managers ensured staff received regular training, supervision and appraisal. Staff felt supported by their managers and were empowered to raise concerns.
  • The service was well-led and had strong and effective governance processes in place to ensure it ran smoothly.

Dr Linda Harris OBE, Chief Executive of Spectrum, added:

“I am enormously proud of the York Drug and Alcohol Service team. This feedback reflects the compassionate leadership and strength of partnership working we have with Changing Lives and our Local Authority leaders, all of whom place the needs of our patients front and centre. The pandemic has created challenges which the team have worked hard to overcome working together and always seeking new solutions to improving care and tackling health inequalities.”

Click to read the full inspection report.

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