Offering substance misuse services to Accession Eight migrants in London: Findings from a qualitative study
This article reports findings from a study undertaken in two parts between November 2006 and May 2008, investigating the drug treatment needs of new migrants to the UK. The study explored the eligibility and treatment needs of new communities in London. This article reports findings in relation to EU Accession Eight (A8) nationals' entitlement and access to drug treatment. For this part of the study 20, in depth interviews were conducted with staff of Drug and Alcohol Action Teams and treatment services in seven London boroughs to identify levels of service provision, along with practitioners' interpretations of entitlement to services, perceptions of local need and gaps in treatment. Additionally, 19 interviews were conducted with related service providers. Six service users were interviewed. Findings show professionals are eager to address the needs of A8 migrants but services are providing limited treatment to A8 nationals. However, entitlements vary between boroughs and decisions are pragmatic, based upon assessments of clinical necessity but also financial constraints. Decisions made on this footing can lead to services being denied despite intense need and resulting in reduced opportunities for planning. The article concludes with observations as to how provision might develop to meet a changing context.