Enhancing the client journey: moving towards an Integrated ATOD Service System.
- Integration means coordinated action, collaboration and partnerships between agencies and professionals, underpinned by a communication framework both within the alcohol, tobacco and other drug (ATOD) specialist system and also with other sectors. Different approaches are required for vertical and horizontal integration activities.
- ATOD work is a specialist profession. It has its own shared values, principles and an identity evident by local, state and national professional, academic and practice networks around the issue.
- Greater coordinated action requires, in the first instance, the development of a service map that provides clarity around, and visibility of, roles and services within the ATOD specialist system. This service maps acts as a critical foundation document which enables reform but also can serve to support vertical integration of, and collaboration between, all levels of the ATOD workforce. This would be an enabler of greater collaboration, communication and has the potential to reduce duplication in service provision across the sector.
- People with a lived experience (whether peer workers or advocates) have a key role to play in reform processes and enhancing the client journey within the ATOD specialist sector.
- Treatment integration between the ATOD and mental health sectors is not supported. Rather, research has shown that collaboration and co-location between the sectors drives good outcomes for clients.
- A key role for the ATDC moving forward is to monitor investment dedicated to integration reform processes ensuring adequate flow through to specialist ATOD sector activities.