Working with Alcohol and Drug Partnerships (ADPs) and statutory homeless services, alongside the people who use them, to improve service access, reduce harm and achieve better outcomes

In 2018, 53% of deaths among people experiencing homelessness were drug-related. In the same year death rate for alcohol was 400 times for people experiencing homelessness than it was for the general population.

Scotland went on to record its highest ever drug and alcohol related death rates during 2020 with 1339 drug-related and 1190 alcohol-related deaths. Further work is needed to improve service access for all people.

Reducing Harm, Improving Care supports Alcohol and Drug Partnerships and statutory homeless services to understand current service delivery models and identify key considerations for future service design and improvement. To date the programme has delivered:

  • The involvement of people accessing services in quality improvement
  • Coaching and workshops with service providers and people with lived and living experience to facilitate and capture learning and insights
  • Recommendations for an integrated model of care
  • Knowledge transfer on quality improvement methodology in healthcare to support local services and partners to identify and deliver future service improvements
  • Increased capacity within local systems to drive improvements in integration between homelessness, alcohol and drug services.


Support for Alcohol and Drug Partnerships (ADPs) and statutory homeless services

We support ADPs and statutory homeless services by working with them to:

  • develop an understanding of existing care pathways
  • develop an understanding of the current system and its innovations from the COVID-19 pandemic
  • understand the needs of people trying to access services
  • increase opportunities for communities and system partners to co-design and co-produce integrated service improvements
  • identify and share good practice, innovation and learning about ‘what works’ to drive Scotland-wide improvement in the design and delivery of homelessness and substance use services, and
  • defining recommendations for future policy development.


Get involved

You can benefit from this programme by:


Get in touch

Email us at if you have a question about Reducing Harm, Improving Care or if would like to speak to a member of the team about improving service access, reducing harm and achieving better outcomes for people experiencing homelessness and alcohol or drugs.