A Newly Refurbished Home for Reading’s Drug and Alcohol Service

IRiS team with Cllr Hoskin at 4 Waylan Street
IRiS team with Cllr Hoskin at 4 Waylan Street

READING’S Drug and Alcohol Service have moved to newly refurbished town centre locations, without any change to the services offered.

The team moved out of privately-owned accommodation at 159 Oxford Road and 38 Queens Road, to consolidate its location at two Council owned premises, 127 Oxford Road and 4 Waylen Street, following a refurbishment of those properties.

Graeme Hoskins
Graeme Hoskin

the move, the team have also been celebrating great results. Recently published stats show Reading’s drug and alcohol treatment teams are increasingly effective at helping people beat drug and alcohol addiction.

When compared to other similar local authorities in the country, stats from June 2016 show drug and alcohol treatment in Reading is one of the most effective in helping people to become drug and alcohol free.

For those in treatment recently (not taking returns to treatment into account), compared to other similar authorities nationally, Reading was amongst those with the highest proportion of people completing treatment free of addiction.

The Reading stats show above national average results, with 52% of clients completing alcohol treatment and 16% completing drug treatment to become free of addiction and not returning to treatment within six months. This compares favourably with national figures for similar authorities, with an average of 39.5% and 15.2% for alcohol and drug treatment respectively.

IRiS (Integrated Recovery in Services) is Reading’s adult drug treatment service, a joint initiative by two experienced drug and alcohol treatment specialist organisations, Cranstoun and Inclusion, which is funded, regulated and supported by Reading Borough Council.

Since it took on the service in 2014, IRiS has been working towards helping clients to achieve recovery by connecting with local communities, building their skills and resources and making and sustaining changes to their lifestyles. IRiS also work in partnership with Drugfam who offer services to families. IRiS offer advice and information to families that support those in treatment to support their recovery journey.

Cllr Graeme Hoskin, Reading’s Lead Councillor for Health, said:

“With the expiry of the leases in the privately owned properties, it has given us the perfect opportunity to consolidate the location of this important service into Council properties and achieve a significant saving. These savings were used to refurbish the new buildings and represent an improvement for the vulnerable people who rely on these vital, life-saving services.

“I’m heartened by the latest positive results for our drug and alcohol treatment service. The results are a testament to the hard work of frontline staff, excellent joint working between all teams involved and to the determination of many individuals to turn their lives around.”

Rachel Hassan, Borough Manager, IRiS Reading said:“Making changes into a reality has not been easy. People using drug and alcohol services are often vulnerable, their needs are usually complex and their health may be poor. Some people in Reading have been receiving treatment for many years and are reluctant or unable to change.

“Our professionals have needed to develop new skills or learn to work with clients in different circumstances. Staff have been working hard to establish a Reading Recovery community through developing a new staged approach to recovery that includes Peer Mentor programmes, Incentives for Recovery, health promotion interventions and improved care coordination with partners to ensure improvements in the service user experience.

“In the most recent performance reports this hard work has started to come to fruition. The results are promising and we now need to build on this success.”

IRiS services are available to anyone over the age of 18 who lives in Reading and is experiencing difficulties with drugs and/or alcohol. They also have services available for family members of drug and alcohol users who need support.

People can find out more on 0118 9557333 (Mon–Fri 9am-5pm), or come to the Open Access clinic (Mon-Fri, 1pm–4pm). There is no need to book, people can just pop in for an informal chat. Find out more at www.irispartnership.org/services/reading


Notes to Editors

Photo opportunity: There will be a photo opportunity with members of the IRiS team and Cllr Graeme Hoskin at 9.50am on Wednesday 5th October at the newly refurbished 4 Waylan Street.

Useful Links:

IRIS – www.irispartnership.org/about-us

Cranstoun – http://cranstoun.org

Inclusion – http://www.inclusion.org/about-us/

The service move was necessitated by expiring leases in the privately owned locations. The consolidation into council owned existing premises at Waylen Street and expansion into the adjacent 127 Oxford Road will generate significant savings, an improved and more efficient service, as well as providing the opportunity to enhance the buildings.

As part of the move, the Reading Your Way mental health team moved from 127 Oxford Road in May to 1A Rupert Square and Sun Street Centre in East Reading.


Victoria Nickless

For media enquiries about this release email victoria.nickless@reading.gov.uk or call 0118 937 3957