01 December 2006

Hat trick for Stepping Stones

Stepping Stones Addiction Centre, has gained a reputation as being the finest of its kind in South Africa and the world.

Stepping Stones Addiction Centre, situated off the sparkling waters of the Atlantic Ocean in the little village of Kommetjie near Cape Town has gained a reputation as being the finest of its kind in South Africa and the world.

It has achieved, for the third successive time, internationally recognised accreditation by the Council of Health Service Accreditation of Southern Africa (COHSASA).

It is also the first addiction treatment facility in South Africa to be awarded a second successive three-year accreditation, signifying excellent compliance with quality standards. In 2003, Stepping Stones won the Hospital Association of South Africa Award for Excellence in Healthcare.

Congratulating Stepping Stones, CEO of COHSASA, Dr Stuart Whittaker said: “Stepping Stones is testimony to the fact that dedication to quality improvement carries with it some real long-term benefits.”

Constant improvement
“The Stepping Stones team is thrilled to have achieved our third successive COHSASA accreditation,” says John Brock, CEO of Stepping Stones. “We see our accreditation as much more than just a result of the ongoing quality improvement programme at Stepping Stones – it is an integral part of a continuous process aimed at constant improvement in our patient care and treatment outcomes.”

The core focus of Stepping Stones is the delivery of intensive, effective residential treatment of alcohol and other drug addiction, eating disorders, compulsive gambling and related disorders. It is also recognised as expert in the treatment of dual-diagnosed patients, effectively treating both the addiction and the co-existing psychiatric disorder.

“The Stepping Stones team is dedicated to helping people save and change their lives. The way we are structured, the evidence-based treatment programme we deliver and the processes we apply are aimed at providing the most effective addiction treatment available and ultimately, the best possible patient outcomes,” says Brock.

Drug use on the increase
Psychological Services Director and co-founder of Stepping Stones in 1998, Peter Powis believes that the complexities of the disease of addiction and its treatment have become significantly more apparent over the last decade.

“Changing drug use trends and robust scientific and medical research demand adjustments in addiction treatment regimes.

Soaring methamphetamine (‘tik’) addiction – across all sectors of society – is a prime example, presenting treatment professionals with a whole new set of clinical challenges.

The clinical complexity of methamphetamine addiction, including psychotic episodes, abusive and paranoid behaviour, severe cravings and protracted depression, has highlighted the absolute necessity of a highly qualified, multi-disciplinary approach to addiction treatment.

The needs and expectations of our patients, their families, referring health professionals and medical schemes have also changed.”

“In this environment,” says Brock, “a continuous and measurable quality improvement effort, incorporating every aspect of our organisational performance, is absolutely imperative.”

Programme Director and co-founder of Stepping Stones, Carry Bekker, views quality assurance as a patient-focused team effort. “The COHSASA quality standards provide the Stepping Stones team with challenging benchmarks against which we can continually measure and improve our service delivery.”

Stepping Stones is accredited until November 17, 2009.

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