Academic's research highlights centre's success

Dr Steve Iafrati, Senior Lecturer and Course Leader in Social Policy at the University, undertook the investigation into Park House to analyse its social return on investment.

At the conclusion of his research, Dr Iafrati discovered that for every £1 investment spent on treatment at Park House, society saved £3.84 in the process, when factoring in vastly reduced expenditure for issues such as paramedic call outs, Magistrate Court appearances, welfare benefit take up, homelessness and others.

The research revealed that for the centre’s £1.4m funding per annum, the total benefits accrued from Park House’s work totalled £5.5m per annum.

Park House is a residential and community substance misuse centre commissioned by Birmingham Public Health. It is managed by Inclusion Drug Alcohol Services, part of South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

The centre offers a unique ‘all under one roof’ approach to drug and alcohol detoxification, stabilisation and rehabilitation treatment.

Since opening in 2010 it has treated 754 service users.

For his research, Dr Iafrati was joined by Nicky Fisher, Assistant Psychologist at Park House. Speaking about their project, Dr Iafrati said: “I was absolutely delighted to be able to lead this research into the fantastic achievements of Park House.

“Our research showed that after a successful spell in Park House, service users reported a dramatic upturn in their lifestyles.

“Statistics such as 235 fewer court appearances, 87 fewer hospital admissions and 74 fewer ambulance call-outs show a huge benefit to society both financially and socially and back up the superb work being carried out at Park House currently.”

Marcus Parsons, Service Manager at Park House, said: “Public services increasingly need to justify and evidence the benefit per pound to the public.

“Public services can often be seen to benefit a narrow range of stakeholders. For example, the benefit of detoxing someone off alcohol is obvious in terms of physical health benefits to that person.

“What is often not seen however are the wider benefits to society, such as increased employment, the fact that these individuals then start to pay tax, spend income in the high street, and to regenerate local economies etc.

“Other examples include less ambulance call outs, fewer cases of homelessness and fewer GP appointments.

“This evaluation has been key to help show the wider public the benefit of maintaining and investing in drug and alcohol services. Ultimately, for every £1 spent on treatment at Park House, society saves £3.84.”

ENDS

For more information please contact Patrick Campbell in the Media Relations Office on 01902 322448

Date Issued: Monday 16 September 2013

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