Healthwatch launches drug and alcohol use consultation

(Last Updated On: August 23, 2018)

Local charity Healthwatch Torbay are working with Torbay Council’s Public Health Team to find out what individuals and their family members think makes a positive difference to their drug & alcohol use.

Public Health Torbay has commissioned Healthwatch Torbay, the independent consumer champion for health and social care, to undertake a consultation as part of the local authority’s ‘needs assessment’, to help establish what the current needs of Torbay’s population are in terms of drug and alcohol treatment services.

It will also look to identify what the potential issues are for problematic drug and alcohol users in the coming years, gaining the views of those affected as part of the needs assessment. This will include all of those affected by problematic drug and/or alcohol use. Healthwatch Torbay Chair Dr Kevin Dixon says:

“Trying to cope with drug and alcohol abuse is a complex issue. There are a number of support services and networks out there designed to help, but we want to ask the very people using them whether they feel there is enough support available locally, how effective it is, and whether any improvements may need to be made.

We are here to give people a voice and ensure that it is listened to by those who make the key decisions about services locally. People sharing their stories and telling us what they feel will really help shape and inform the future design and delivery of support to people experiencing difficulties.

So, if you have or have previously had a drug and alcohol problem or are a friend or family member of someone who has one, please take part in our survey. It really could make a huge difference.”

All responses to the Healthwatch survey – available via – will be anonymous and the information provided will be used to inform the final report at the end of the consultation on 21st September 2018 when all the feedback is gathered and shared with commissioners.

If you would like to speak to Healthwatch Torbay call the office, Monday – Thursday, 9.30am – 2.30pm, on the Freephone number 08000 520 029 and someone will complete the questionnaire with you over the phone.

If you are concerned about your own or someone else’s immediate health or welfare then please make an appointment to see your GP or in an emergency visit A&E or call 999.

Bob Jope Healthwatch Torbay

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Apart from five years studying in Oxford I’ve lived most of my life in London where for many years I was Head of English in a prestigious girls’ school, but since taking early retirement and heading West to be nearer to my two daughters - settling in Torbay with my wife, Anna, in 2011 - I’ve worked in the voluntary sector. I took on the role of Service Provider, for example, promoting the Red Cross Torbay Navigators Project, while now I’m a Trustee and part of the Media Team for our local Healthwatch. I’m a governor at Torquay Academy, too, giving me the chance to stay up to date with what’s happening in the world of education. Other interests, aside from friends and family, include art and art history, reading - from contemporary fiction and poetry to Elizabethan/Jacobean literature - history, politics, cooking, walking, and music, in particular Bob Dylan, the blues, and early Elvis. I love writing, too, with one novel published so far – Elvis in Wonderland – and another, Who’s There?, that still needs plenty of work!