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Hi all,

Welcome to our first newsletter since the release of the State Budget. It’s a very exciting time for us all in the sector and government as we design and roll out the many important alcohol and other drug initiatives contributing to the record levels of State Government investment in services.  

In this newsletter you’ll find an update on new budget initiatives and other important activity underway across the sector. We hope this helps inform our collective efforts across the year ahead. 

As always, we welcome your feedback on this bulletin, including on any topics you would like to see included in future editions. Comments can be provided by emailing aod.enquiries@dhhs.vic.gov.au.

Regards,
Ross Broad

Assistant Director
Drug Policy and Reform

 

2017-18 Victorian Budget commitments

The 2017-18 Victorian Budget delivered a significant funding boost for harm reduction, support and drug treatment services to fight ice and drug addiction.

Through the $78.4 million commitment announced as part of Stage 3 of the Victorian Government’s Ice Action Plan, coupled with additional investments as part of the Aboriginal Affairs and Family Violence packages, the State Government is investing a record $220.1 million in alcohol and other drug services in 2017-18, expanding access to vital treatment services for members of the community.

Read a snapshot of the budget commitments.

Increasing residential rehabilitation service delivery across Victoria – a new facility in the Grampians

In addition to implementing the above initiatives, the department is also working hard on implementing  2016-17 Budget funding to support the creation of 20 beds in the Grampians region which will give more Victorians access to residential drug rehabilitation.

The facility will be located on the site of the existing Eastern View Community Care Unit in Ballarat and, as announced by the Minister for Mental Health on 30 August, Windana Drug and Alcohol Recovery has been named as the successful service provider following a competitive tender process.

An initial community information session was held in June 2017, providing interested community members with a broad overview of the project, and an opportunity to ask questions about alcohol and other drug rehabilitation services. Future community information sessions to be held later in 2017. In the meantime, for more information visit New residential treatment service.

Intake and assessment changes

Commencing on 1 July, responsibility for conducting comprehensive assessment and treatment planning for voluntary alcohol and other drug clients has moved from intake providers to treatment providers.

The department’s alcohol and other drug website has been updated to reflect the changes and provide access to factsheets and refreshed clinician tools

Following a successful series of teleconference engagement between the department and intake providers over the transition period, a sector implementation monitoring forum will take place on 13 September.

This forum will provide an opportunity for providers and department stakeholders to share good practice under the new arrangements and discuss any operational challenges.

Sector reference group meeting

The Sector Reference Group convened on 24 July, providing further opportunity to consider issues and opportunities for a smooth transition period to the new intake and assessment arrangements. 

Further items discussed included an update on the development of the new alcohol and other drug workforce strategy and the performance management framework, and the implementation of the Victorian Alcohol and Drug Collection.

Key 2017-18 Victorian Budget initiatives discussed included alcohol and other drug treatment places for parents to support family reunification, and more support for people at risk of overdose in the treatment system.

Victorian Alcohol and Drug Collection (VADC) implementation

Two information sessions at the Victorian Alcohol and Drug Association (VAADA) and the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation have been held.

These sessions included software system demonstrations by providers that are in the process of implementing the VADC. Version 2 of the VADC specification, to be released in August, will provide greater clarity regarding reporting requirements, data definitions and business rules.

An update to the Compilation and Submission specification is also planned for August. 

The department will be contacting all in scope alcohol and other drug treatment services providers during August seeking advice regarding VADC implementation plans and time frames.

 

Service Providers Conference

Finally, thanks to all who attended the VAADA Service Providers Conference in May 2017.

The conference was well attended, with some great updates and presentations, including on the Family Violence Reform Agenda, the new Victorian Alcohol and Drug Collection, the new Intake and Assessment Tool, Real Time Prescription Monitoring, and the Dark Web and Harm Minimisation.

Presentations are available on the VAADA website

The next conference will be in November 2017. 

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