Under section 2B of the NHS Act 2006 local authorities (LAs) must take such steps as they consider appropriate for improving the health of the people in their areas. Section 6C of the 2006 Act allows the Secretary of State to make regulations requiring LAs to exercise their public health functions by taking particular steps.
No regulations have been made in respect of drug or alcohol misuse services. However, a condition attached to the public health grant that is paid to LAs under section 31 of the Local Government Act 2003 requires them to use the grant with regard to the need to improve the take up of, and outcomes from, their drug and alcohol misuse treatment services. Where steps are not mandated in regulations or grant conditions LAs must make decisions based on their own priorities and assessments of local need, and account for those decisions to their electorates.