News story

Injectable Opioid Treatment: Invitation to a service-provider briefing

This is a pre-invitation to tender (ITT) stage for an Open day, the purpose of which is to engage service providers at a briefing in London.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Open day for Service Providers - 31 January 2012

The Open day will provide an opportunity to:

  • get a clear understanding of what business outcomes the Department of Health (DH) requires and ask questions as well as critique the current solution.
  • meet representatives of  DH and the National Treatment Agency collectively
  • give your views on how to structure the requirement so that it maximises market interest, innovation and value for money
  • the total value of this contract is estimated at £6,000,000 over three years.

All questions and answers will be available for those who are unable to attend the event, please email for more information.

This event will take place on 31 January 2012 at the Department of Health, Skipton House, London. Registration will commence at 10am and the event will start at 10.30am


Injectable Opioid Treatment (IOT) involves the prescription and dispensing of injectable diamorphine (pharmaceutical heroin) or injectable methadone in a supervised clinical setting for opiate misusers who have not responded to other types of treatment.

The Randomised Injectable Opioid Treatment Trial (RIOTT), which was part-funded by the Department of Health and supported by the National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse, was conducted at three supervised injecting clinics in England, following the recommendations of the 2002 UK Drugs Strategy.

The results were published in the Lancet [Strang et al, The Lancet, Vol 375, May 29 2010] As a result of this study and other international research, IOT is now evidenced as a clinically effective second-line treatment for the small number of people who have repeatedly failed to respond to standard methadone treatment or residential rehabilitation.


Following a commitment in the 2010 Drug Strategy to continue to examine the potential role for diamorphine prescribing, further work is needed to explore:

  • How to deliver a low-volume service such that it is accessible to a population which is relatively thinly-spread, given that patients need to travel to the clinic twice-daily
  • The commissioning procedures appropriate to a service with these constraints
  • How referral pathways should operate
  • The case management that is necessary to ensure that people progress as appropriate to less intensive treatment once they are stabilised

Further information on the 2010 Drug Strategy.

DH intends to issue an invitation to tender for this work during February 2012. The National Treatment Agency (and subsequently Public Health England) will manage the resulting contract/s.

How to Register

Service providers interested in attending the open day should e-mail by 27 January 2012 providing:

(i) contact details of the person attending (a maximum of two people from each service)

(ii) a single paragraph summary of your company experience and whether you are a Small to Medium Enterprise. This summary will be shared with other participants in order to promote discussion and assist the formation of partnerships where service providers wish to do so.

Publishing this notice does not commit DH to engage in a competition for the required services.

Published 13 January 2012