Drug treatment agency nabs DoH head of news

The Department of Health's (DoH) head of news has taken a role spearheading the Government's drug treatment strategy.

DoH deputy director of comms (news) Jon Hibbs leaves his post after six years for a one-year secondment at the National Treatment Agency (NTA). The NTA is the government health authority that puts policies for treating drug addicts into practice.

The new role has been created to push through the Government's ten-year drug strategy, published by the Home Office in April.

The report aims to restrict the supply of illegal drugs and reduce their demand. It focuses on protecting families and strengthening communities.

'The NTA has a tremendous record of delivering drug treatment, but that record is not as well known as it deserves to be,' said Hibbs. 'My challenge is to communicate the new strategy to a broad range of audiences and show what the NTA's role is in delivering drug treatment on the ground.'

Hibbs has handled DoH PR for four consecutive secretaries of state, from Alan Milburn to Alan Johnson. Before that, Hibbs was the political editor of The Scotsman and political correspondent at The Telegraph for ten years.

He will report to NTA chief executive Paul Hayes. The NTA is a part of the DoH, but also reports to the Home Office, which develops drug policy.

The role's main focus will be stakeholder relations with the various government departments that are involved in the drugs strategy.

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