Leeds Drug and Alcohol Service Rated Outstanding by National Regulator

Forward Leeds, the city’s alcohol and drug service, is ‘highly innovative’ and a place where, ‘staff always go the extra mile to support clients’ according to a recent assessment.

The comments were made following a recent inspection by the Care Quality Commission, the independent regulator of health and social care in England. The CQC say Forward Leeds is “Outstanding”, overall and is “Outstanding” in the categories of being Effective, Caring and Well-Led. Fewer than two per cent of services inspected receive the top overall rating of Outstanding.

Councillor Salma Arif, Leeds City Council’s executive member for public health and active lifestyles, said: “Drug and alcohol use poses a significant challenge to individuals and communities across the city. Forward Leeds play a vital role in addressing those challenges, helping individuals achieve and sustain recovery from drug and alcohol use.

“It is really pleasing therefore to see the positive improvements in the service, recognised in this outstanding rating, and I hope that this gives anybody struggling with drug or alcohol issues the confidence to seek support.”

Victoria Eaton, director of public health at Leeds City Council, said: “Forward Leeds receiving an outstanding rating is fantastic news and it is great recognition for everyone involved in delivering drug and alcohol treatment and recovery services across the city.

“It is really pleasing to see the service, commissioned by Leeds Public Health, improve in the latest Care Quality Commission Inspection and become one of the few drug and alcohol services to be rated as outstanding in the country.”

Forward Leeds Director, Lee Wilson said: “This is fantastic news for our service and the city. If the report highlights one thing above anything else, it’s that we are a caring service whose staff always do the best for the people they support. The report shows the level of commitment our teams have to deliver the best possible service and outcomes for people using our service as well as their families and loved ones.”

The report states that the service: “truly considered the needs of different groups of people using its service” and that: “staff treated clients with compassion and kindness and respect”.

The CQC inspectors continue: “Feedback from people who used the service was overwhelmingly positive” and “clients told us that staff had really helped them to move forward with their lives”.

Former user of the service Mathew Sharp said: “It is fantastic to see Forward Leeds recognised as an outstanding service. It was remarkable to have their support and help through my recovery. They are always there for you. The staff are amazing, they work with you, they understand what you’re going through and will help you understand yourself”.

The full report is available to read online from the CQC website www.cqc.org.uk

Photos: Forward Leeds staff at the city’s hub on Kirkgate in the city centre

Notes    For further information for interviews staff please contact Mark Hindwell, Marketing and Communications Officer, Forward Leeds 07730 598774 mark.hindwell@forwardleeds.co.uk

About Forward Leeds     Forward Leeds provides support for adults, young people and families needing help with alcohol and drug use in Leeds.

Forward Leeds is a partnership, led by Humankind Charity (Humankind) in conjunction with  Barca Leeds, St Anne’s Community Services, Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LYPFT)

Forward Leeds has three main centres across Leeds and a Recovery Academy called 5 WAYS off Burley Road.

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