A new service for those battling drug and alcohol problems will be launched on the Isle of Wight in December.

Specialist drug, alcohol and psychological therapy provider ‘Inclusion’ has been chosen to oversee the Island’s services.

Part of the Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, it already provides drug and alcohol services for HMP Isle of Wight.

The news comes following the collapse of the previous service IRIS (Island Recovery Integrated Service) – which stopped taking referrals back in March.

As reported by Isle of Wight Radio, a number of the Island’s GPs were still referring patients to the service despite it no longer existing.

Dr Lesley Stevens, Director of Mental Health and Learning Disability Services at Isle of Wight NHS Trust, said:

“We firmly believe a specialist service provider is the best option for the future of drug and alcohol services on the Island.

“We’re very pleased Inclusion is part of the NHS and staff transferring to the new service can do so on NHS terms and conditions.

“We’re working closely with Inclusion and IRIS staff to ensure a smooth handover.”

Meanwhile, Danny Hames, Head of Inclusion said:

“We are delighted to be working in partnership with the Isle of Wight Council and look forward to working with service users, staff and partner agencies from 1st December.

“We are working closely with commissioners and the IOW trust to enable a safe handover of services.

“Inclusion are a specialist provider of drug and alcohol services and we hold true to our NHS values by putting people at the heart of our services, empowering staff and service users to build successful futures and working in partnership to promote health, wellbeing and safer communities.

“We have provided drug and alcohol support within HMP IOW since 2005 and we look forward to expanding this support into the community; our aim is to reduce the harm of drugs and alcohol to individuals, their families and the wider communities.”

The new contract will start on 1 December.