A DRUG addiction support service described by one Swindon lawyer as in chaos has been praised by the health regulator as outstanding.

Turning Point IMPACT, which last year took over responsibility for running drug and alcohol addiction support in Swindon, was said by the Care Quality Commission to offer a very high standard of care.

Karen Bennett-Wilson, the CQC’s head of inspection and mental health lead, said: “Staff were found to go the extra mile and care and support exceeded patient expectations. treated them with compassion and care.

“Comments were overwhelmingly positive about the service and our inspectors were told that staff really understood the issues clients faced.”

The regulator heard that Turning Point clients were overwhelmingly positive about their experience of the service. Some told inspectors that they would not be alive today without the support from Turning Point.

The service’s assistant director, Natalie Travis, said she was delighted by the positive CQC rating.

“We have worked hard to reduce barriers to treatment, making our services accessible,” she said. “This includes dedicated workers supporting military veterans, the homeless and older adults.”

Frances Mayes, senior public health manager at Swindon Borough Council said Turning Point deserved praise for its work in assessing the risks posed to over 300 children from adults with a drug or alcohol dependency. The youngsters had been referred where necessary to the council’s safeguarding teams.

But Turning Point’s work has not been without controversy.

The new CQC report came as police and crime commissioner Angus Macpherson took to social media network Twitter to share concerns about the lack of addiction service support at the weekly soup kitchen evenings organised by Swindon charity the Filling Station.

He wrote: “Still concerned that we are unsupported by addiction workers, homeless outreach workers and mental health.”

Mr Macpherson later told the Advertiser: "In relation to the Filling Station, the homeless charity I support, I think it's very important that agencies and charities like Turning Point, which do outreach work to the homeless continue and increase the support they give those who are vulnerable."

Earlier this year, defence solicitor Andrew Watts-Jones told magistrates Turning Point was in chaos, after the service allegedly failed to keep its appointment to assess his client.

Following the hearing, Mr Watts-Jones told the Adver: “It’s unusual for there to be anybody here from the drug organisation. Not just on Wednesdays – but generally.”