Following a Leeds City Council procurement process, Forward Leeds has been successful in winning the contract to provide the city’s alcohol and drug support service for at least another five years.
The service, with sites in Armley, Seacroft and the city centre, will begin its new contract on 1 April 2023. The initial contract will run until 31 March 2028 with Leeds Council having an option to extend after that date for up to five years potentially taking it up to April 2033.
Forward Leeds, who recently won Leeds City Council’s Partner of the Year, is a consortium between three charities: Humankind, St Anne’s Community Services and BARCA-Leeds along with the Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LYPFT).
Councillor Salma Arif, Leeds City Council’s Executive Member for Public Health and Active Lifestyles, said: “As a Care Quality Commission outstanding rated service, it is really pleasing that Forward Leeds have been awarded this contract for the next few years. The service plays a vital role in addressing the challenges posed by drug and alcohol use to individuals and communities in Leeds, ensuring that anyone in the city struggling with drug and alcohol issues is able to get support.
“For some years now, Forward Leeds has consistently been one of the highest performing drug and alcohol treatment services in the country, and it is one of only a few services in the country that is rated outstanding by the Care Quality Commission (CQC)”.
Victoria Eaton, Director of Public Health at Leeds City Council, said: “It is fantastic news that Forward Leeds will continue to provide the Leeds City Council Public Health commissioned drug and alcohol service, which offers support for anyone affected by drug and alcohol use. The service has gone from strength to strength, to become one of just a few drug and alcohol services to be rated as outstanding, by the Care Quality Commission, in the country.”
Operations Director of Forward Leeds Helen Cook said: “To be awarded the contract for at least another five years is fantastic. It reflects the quality and the hard work of the staff across our partnership and the commitment that they show in working with people who come to us for support.
“We have had to prove that we are able to continue to offer the high-quality service we have been doing and that we can develop and evolve our service to meet the ever-changing needs of the city.”
Humankind Regional Director Lee Wilson said: “Having our contract renewed is a testament to the dedication of our staff and volunteers who provide the highest quality of care and support to everyone who comes to us needing help.
“The service has had to meet significant quality thresholds in the bidding process along with due diligence checks on safeguarding, health and safety, finance, and insurance. These were all completed successfully with no issues identified. Our social value response was even given the top score possible by the council.”