Becky Wood

National MIST Q Officer


Dermot Craig

National MIST Q Officer


The MIST Q team is part of a wider Government team who are looking to evaluate the impending MAT standards from an experiential perspective. We will be training local areas to identity and interview local service users; their families and service providers to discover how well the MAT standards provide appropriate care and access to services.

The MAT standards aim to improve life for those affected by them, and this experiential data shall be able to feedback as part of a Quality Improvement Program to continually improve services. This mind shift towards being led by Lived Experience in all forms is proactively being sought and acted upon.

We are recruiting for Locality Interviewers

As part of our work with Scottish Government, Public Health Scotland and MIST Q we are looking to recruit Locality Interviewers to help improve MAT Standards Implementation in their community.

Basic understanding of the MAT Standards is essential however this information can be easily studied below.

The most important criteria to join our project as a Locality Interviewer is:

  • a passion to amplify the voices of lived experience of addiction and recovery
  • basic IT skills
  • a drive to be a part of positive change to improve treatment services

To become an interviewer or for more information, please contact your local Alcohol and Drugs Partnerships Leads.

What are the MAT Standards?

  1. Help on the day you ask: Being in treatment is a matter of life and death – when people ask for help we should be ready to provide it. Services will bring in new guidance to allow this to either be a prescription when clinically appropriate, or to ensure access to other support from day one.
  2. Choice: We should all be involved in the decisions that affect our care, after all, it is us that have to live with it. Different medication options that are available will be discussed with people and they will be supported to make the right choice for them.
  3. Reaching out: Staff contact and follow up with individuals they are concerned about, especially during times of high risk. Support will also be offered when a person’s risk factors might be changing – e.g when a person is leaving hospital.
  4. Harm reduction for everyone: While a person is in treatment and prescribed medication, they are still able to access harm reduction services – e.g needles and syringes, testing for blood-borne viruses, injecting risk assessments, wound care and naloxone. They would be able to receive these from a range of providers – including their treatment service – and this would not affect their treatment or prescription.
  5. Staying in treatment: People are to be given support to stay in treatment for as long as they like and especially at times when things are difficult for them. All discharges from services should be planned with the person to ensure this is managed safely.
  6. Improving mental wellbeing and understanding: We know that for many people, substances are used as a way to cope with difficult emotions and issues from the past. Services will focus on supporting people to develop positive relationships and new ways of coping as these are just as important as having the right medication.
  7. Involving GPs and primary care: Not everyone needs specialist services throughout their recovery, and people should be able to choose to receive their medication and other support through primary care providers.
  8. Meeting everyday needs: To support the whole person not just their drug use, people have the right to ask for support to improve their living circumstances, such as housing and access to their welfare entitlements. Dedicated independent workers will support people to make sure they get what best suits them and that they are treated fairly.
  9. Recognising and treating mental health: People have the right to ask for support with mental health difficulties and to engage in mental health treatment while being supported as part of their drug treatment and care.
  10. Respecting traumatic life experiences: This ensures we listen to people and offer the kind of relationship that promotes their recovery, does not cause further trauma or harm, and helps builds resilience.

MAT Standards Infographic

[Downloadable PDF]
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