People's views and experiences of drugs and alcohol services in Wigan

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Summary of report content

The purpose of this research was to understand people's experiences of the current drugs and alcohol services in Wigan Borough. Healthwatch Wigan and Leigh conducted guided telephone interviews and group discussions to collect the data. 178 comments from 34 people were analysed against four themes: what is working well, what is not working so well, use of technology for communicating with services, what future work should focus on. Broadly, people felt positive about the attitude of local drug and alcohol services. However, there were longer waiting times for some services and people with dual diagnosis experienced disjointed services. Other areas that were highlighted for improvement were difficulties accessing mental health services and rehab, better responsiveness and coverage for crisis management particularly at weekends. There was a strong preference for face-to-face engagement with service providers. Although, using text messages for reminders and updates was considered to be helpful. The recommendations of this report were: to work through issues with joined up care for people with dual diagnosis of mental health and drug and alcohol problems, to provide better weekend crisis support, to provide more support for friends and families, and to consider a different approach for group activities.

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General details

Report title 
People's views and experiences of drugs and alcohol services in Wigan
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Wigan
Date of publication 
Thursday, 21 March, 2019
Date evidence capture began 
Monday, 9 October, 2017
Date evidence capture finished 
Monday, 23 October, 2017
Type of report 
Key themes 
Communication between staff and patients
Digitalisation of services
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Quality of appointment
Quality of care
Quality of staffing
Staff attitudes
Staff levels
Waiting times and lists for treatment
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
What type of organisation requested the work 
Primary research method used 
Focus group
Unstructured Interview
How was the information collected? 
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Social care services 
Drug & alcohol services

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
Specific ethnicity if known 
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Other population characteristics 
People who misuse drugs
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Does the information include staff's views? 
Does the information include other people's views? 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.