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Posted on: 30th April 2012

Open Road Newsletter - On the road - Issue 3

Welcome to the Spring 2012 edition of 'On the Road'. This edition is very much focused on the Government’s recently launched Alcohol Strategy and how it might affect Open Road.

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We have a lot of expertise in this area but we need to attract more funding so that we can actively promote our alcohol services and assist people on their road to recovery. We are already doing all we can on limited funds, but there’s so much more that could be done - so funding is desperately needed in this area. The harm caused by alcohol consumption affects a staggering percentage of our population, and the numbers seeking help are growing - due in part to the availability of cheap alcohol.

Binge drinking is another area highlighted in David Cameron’s opening remarks in the Strategy and here, Open Road can show real progress with our SOS bus in Colchester, which has successfully operated for over three years to tackle binge drinking and associated crime and violence. On the back of this success, we have introduced a second SOS Bus project in Clacton, and this is already reducing A & E admissions, anti-social behaviour and pressure on Police and paramedics at weekends. Both buses are benefitting from new funding support from North Essex PCT, and, as a result, we’ve been able to introduce on-board medical support from Emergency Doctors Medical Services.

For a more detailed response to the Alcohol Strategy, go to page 3, of the newsletter where Adam Fox, Performance & Data Manager, gives his own Point of View.

So what else has been happening in the last three months? Well, we had a very successful Open Day to celebrate the first anniversary of our Basildon Centre. The South Team has worked tirelessly to get this centre up and running and, in particular, has won the support of the local community. See our first story, for Service Manager, Steve Wood’s report. We also officially opened our new Harlow Centre. Both events were well attended and we were delighted that each was given official support by two of our Patrons – Robert Halfon MP at Harlow and, Richard Hewitt MEP for the East of England at Basildon. We have also won planning permission for a new outreach service in Haverhill, which is an important step in the delivery of our Suffolk contract.

I hope you enjoy reading 'On the Road'. We are always keen to get your feedback and ideas for future editions.

Sarah Wright, Chief Executive