Stockport drug and alcohol service

We provide interventions for people (aged 26+) with a physical and psychological dependence on alcohol and/or prescribed, over the counter and illicit substances.
This service is a partnership between Pennine Care, Acorn Recovery and Intuitive Thinking Skills. It includes the service previously known as Pathfinder Stockport.

We carry out an assessment to help you identify your goals, and develop a care plan to achieve them.

We offer one-to-one support and workshop programs, where appropriate, to help you progress in your recovery. We also offer community-based detoxification programs, and facilitate in-patient detoxification programs and access residential rehabilitation.

Our workshop programmes are based on the five ways to wellbeing and are co-facilitated by our volunteers and peer mentors (most of whom are ex-service users). They provide support and guidance on lifestyle changes and techniques to help you break the cycle of dependence.

We can also support you with any physical health challenges. Our clinical team provide blood bourne virus screening, especially for HIV and hepatitis C. We co-ordinate a weekly hepatitis C treatment clinic, delivering and supporting your through the full hep C treatment programme.

Our clinical team offer vaccinations against hep A/B and flu. Screening and signposting is also available for conditions such as COPD.

Through our “BUILD” offer, we help you to sustain their recovery. “BUILD” provides ongoing, informal, relapse prevention support. Facilitated primarily by our peer mentors and volunteers, it offers both check-up telephone contact and twice weekly drop-in sessions.

Access to our service is via the independent START team (0161 474 3141). They provide an initial assessment and signposting to treatment.

From 1 April 2022, Pennine Care, Acorn Recovery and Intuitive Thinking Skills will work together, in partnership, to provide a variety of drug and alcohol treatment and recovery services in Stockport. 

Working in partnership, Pennine Care, Acorn Recovery and Intuitive Thinking Skills will act as “Joint Controllers” (in line with Article 4(7) and Article 26 of the UKGDPR) for the personal data you provide.

Stockport Drug and Alcohol Service will process the personal data you have provide in line with the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) and the Data Protection Act (2018), and in accordance with our full privacy notice.  More details about how we will use your data can be found below.

If you have any questions, comments or concerns about the handling of your personal data, please contact our data protection officer on 

What personal information we need from you

To provide you with clinical care, the service will require the following personal information:

  • Your name
  • Your date of birth
  • Contact information – we will check this at every appointment to make sure it’s accurate
  • Information regarding your general health, including your height, weight, blood pressure and current medication
  • Information regarding your drug and alcohol use
  • Information regarding your mental health
  • Information regarding involvement of other agencies such as social services, police, probation, housing etc.

We will also ask you for information about your circumstances, such as:

  • Your ethnicity
  • Your sexuality and sexual health
  • Your family circumstances
  • Your living situation
  • Your employment situation
  • Any children or dependants you might have

This information gives us insight into who you are and helps us design a care plan specifically for your needs.

We may ask you for information outside of this list, if it is useful or necessary, to help us understand your needs, or your circumstances.  But if you’re ever uncomfortable with the information that is being asked for, you can raise this with your key worker.

Why we need your personal information

We need this information to provide you with the services you have requested. 

Our legal basis for collecting and processing this information is UK GDPR Article 6 (e) (because providing the service forms part of our “public task”) and Article 9 (h) (because we’re processing the data to provide you with health care).

How long we will retain your personal information

Your personal information will be retained by Pennine Care in your client record for 20 years, and in line with NHSX Records Management Schedule and Pennine Care’s Record Management Policy.

Who we share your personal information with

As we’re working in partnership, Stockport Drug and Alcohol Service staff at Pennine Care, Acorn Recovery and Intuitive Thinking Skills will all have access to your client information.  However, your information will only be accessed and / or shared by staff when necessary, lawful and proportionate. 

Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council’s START Team refer most patients into our services, but we also receive referrals from other agencies such as Probation, North West Ambulance Service and the Police.  We will share personal information back to them regarding the referral, e.g. if it has been accepted, rejected, or if you did not attend.   

With your permission, we will also share “pseudonymised” information regarding you and your care with The Office For Health Improvement and Disparities (formerly Public Health England).  This information won’t directly identify you, e.g. with your name and DOB, but will contain enough information to allow public health researchers to track your care.  The aim of this is to improve the outcomes for drug and alcohol service users in the future. Read more about this process.

If you have given permission for this sharing, and wish to stop sharing this information, you can at any time - just let your key worker know.

Finally, we store our client records on a third party system called Theseus. This is provided by a company called Cyber Media  For the purposes of Article 28 of the UKGDPR, they are Processors for our service.  Your information will be stored on their servers, but they will only access that information for the purposes of system support, maintenance and upgrade.  Cyber Media is a trusted provider and has worked with Pennine Care for many years, and we have a contract in place that safeguards your information with them.  Please contact our Data Protection Officer - - if you would like more information or have any concerns about Cyber Media.

Where there is a necessary and proportionate need, and a legal basis, we may share your personal information with other third parties, such as Calico Group (Acorn Recovery’s parent organisation), police, probation, social services or housing agencies.  For further information see our full privacy notice.

How we will communicate with you

During the course of your treatment, you will be asked how you would like us to communicate with you, for example email, telephone, or SMS text messaging.  Your choices will be recorded on your clinical record.  If you want to change how we contact you at any time, just let your key worker know.

How we protect your personal information

Information in your client record is stored in the UK and held by a trusted third party (Cyber Media – see above) who is under contract to hold your information in a secure, lawful manner. 

Further information about you will be held on Pennine Care’s secure IT and email network.

As outlined above, routine access to your personal data is limited to those who require it to assist you, and will only be shared in a secure fashion (e.g. via encrypted email). 

Your rights

UK GDPR provides you with a number of rights, including the ability to ask for a copy of information we hold about you, and a right to ask us rectify information we hold about you.  For a full outline of your rights and how to exercise them, please see the Pennine Care privacy notice.

What happens to my data after I die?

Stockport Drug and Alcohol Service, together with Liverpool John Moores University and other drug and alcohol service providers are working together to improve future treatment for service users, prevent patient deaths, share learning and expertise, and reduce health inequalities in Greater Manchester. In the unfortunate event that you should pass away while under the care of this service, or within six months of your last contact with the team, Stockport Drug and Alcohol Service will share relevant information about your clinical care and your death with our partner agencies. This will be shared lawfully, sensitively, and confidentially. For more information, please speak to your key worker or to our data protection officer at:

Changes to this privacy notice

Our privacy notices are regularly kept up to date. This version was updated on 2nd September 2022.

You will always be able to view our current Stockport Drug and Alcohol service privacy notice on our website.  For access to previous copies, please contact the information governance team at