Drug and alcohol service could move near to Chesterfield shops

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A service which supports people suffering from drug and alcohol misuse could be moving to the heart of Chesterfield, the Derbyshire Times has discovered this afternoon.

Derbyshire Recovery Partnership may relocate from its current base on Rose Hill West in the town to a building on St Mary’s Gate as extra space is needed.

A concerned member of the public, who did not wish to be named, said: “Due to its location opposite Vicar Lane, close to many shops and the churchyard, myself and the public might be concerned over potential dirty needles being left close to where children visit with their families, not to mention the impression it might leave to those visiting the town when there are drug users hanging around.

“I think it might also be a concern for those who have businesses close to St Mary’s Gate who might suffer loss of business.”

A spokesman for Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust said: “As an organisation we take our community responsibilities very seriously in relation to illicit drug use. We provide a specialist needle exchange service, which is currently located at Bayheath House, and actively monitor the use of the service as well as any reports of needles being disposed of inappropriately within the community. We work closely with Derbyshire County Council’s public health team and environmental services when issues are identified.

“Although our services are confidential, we operate from a standpoint of harm reduction, which includes not only reducing the harm to the individual – through safe and clean injecting equipment – but also reducing harm to the community. As part of this we ensure all service users are given a sharps bin to safely dispose of all injecting equipment, to protect both themselves and the general public.

“Working both with our own health and safety and security teams, as well as the police and Derbyshire County Council, we currently use resources such as CCTV to discourage any misuse of our premises or the local area, and we would aim to continue this if services were to be provided from different premises in the future.”

The trust has applied to Chesterfield Borough Council for listed building consent to make internal alterations at the St Mary’s Gate building.

If council approval is given, the trust would carry out the alteration work either at the end of February or in early March - and install CCTV with one camera monitoring the rear entrance of the building.

Derbyshire Recovery Partnership staff would move in shortly afterwards.

Chesterfield Community Mental Health Team staff currently based at the St Mary's Gate building will be moving to the Rose Hill West base.

The new Derbyshire Adult Drug and Alcohol Treatment contract was awarded to Derbyshire Recovery Partnership recently.

The partnership brings together drug and alcohol treatment for the first time.

It has been identified that additional space is needed to provide the new service. This has led to the proposed move.