Report confirms distance to go in implementing MAT Standards

30 September 2022

The Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland has published a report that confirms the challenge in implementing Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) Standards.

The report focuses on people who have both a mental health problem and a substance use problem.  The MAT Standards include explicit mention of this group of people who should be able to access services providing treatment for both of these issues via specialist mental health and drug treatment services.

The report finds that services are not meeting the needs of people who have both ill mental health and substance use problems. Strategies, standards and guidelines are not being reflected in practice.

Commonly, GPs have patients’ referrals declined by community mental health services who give the person’s drug or alcohol use as a reason for refusal.  The mental health services make no further assessment of the person.

New data in the report shows:

  • 90% of GPs have experienced difficulties in referring patients to both mental health services and drug treatment services, even when the person was in crisis.
  • 77% of professionals say care planning does not happen or that they were unaware of it.
  • 13% of specialist staff state that an agreed local protocol for the medical monitoring of patients with coexisting mental health conditions and problematic substance use exists in their area.
  • Only 23% of NHS professionals agree that adequate care and treatment is provided.
  • 77% per cent of families said the physical health of their relative was not a priority for health services.

Click here to view the report, Ending the exclusion: Care, treatment and support for people with mental ill health and problem substance use in Scotland.

Find out more about MAT Standards at www.matstandards.scot

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