Wandsworth drug service whistleblower critical of managers in recently slammed service Blenheim Community Drugs Project

Wandsworth Guardian: One of two major companies providing drug treatment services in Wandsworth has launched an investigation after claims of bullying and nepotism. One of two major companies providing drug treatment services in Wandsworth has launched an investigation after claims of bullying and nepotism.

Frontline staff at a recently slammed drug and alcohol service have written a letter to their bosses complaining of a series of failings.

Last month we revealed a council report severely criticised its own drug and alcohol treatment service, outsourced at a cost of £5m a year to the taxpayer.

Now a whistleblower has revealed one of two major companies, who receive £3.1m a year from the council, Blenheim Community Drugs Project, has been in the process of an internal investigation after ten members of staff complained about their managers.

Every member of frontline paid staff (non-management) from the Integrated Drug and Alcohol Service Battersea has signed a letter which raises concerns about harassment, bullying and nepotism.

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The letter also complains that managers have failed to follow up on concerns raised about training and communication within the organisation raised earlier in the year.

Since receiving the letter in April Blenheim have conducted an investigation, concluded on June 6.

A spokeswoman said all staff involved have had individual meetings to discuss their concerns and Blenheim will be sharing the findings, including any recommendations this week.

The spokeswoman for Blenheim, said: "We regret that some of our staff feel that their concerns haven’t been taken seriously.

"The safety and welfare of all our staff and the people that use our services is really important to us.

"We will continue to work through these matters with the members of staff involved and report to our commissioners in an open and transparent way."

A report published by Wandsworth Council in April stated Blenheim, among other alcohol and drugs rehabilitation service providers, were failing to hit targets.

After being given responsibility for public health in April 2013, the council took on contracts arranged in 2012 with Wandsworth Primary Care Trust with a number of organisations to take over treating those with alcohol and drug problems, paying £5m a year from a Government grant.

Following the report providers could lose the contract as early as April next year.

The Blenheim spokeswoman added: "Despite some challenges in Wandsworth recently we are pleased to announce that over 38 per cent of people using our services with alcohol problems have successfully completed treatment in the last quarter which is above the national average.

"We are still aware that there needs to be improvements in performance in Wandsworth and we will continue to work hard to achieve this and meet the needs of the people in the borough."

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