Fringe Box



Addiction Centre Criticises Government Silence On Availability of Services

Published on: 9 Jun, 2020
Updated on: 9 Jun, 2020

Primrose Lodge Addiction Treatment Centre in Worplesdon

A Guildford-based addiction treatment facility has remained open during the Coronavirus crisis and has continued to treat new clients every day in order to help prevent a ‘bottleneck’ of addicts across the county seeking help once lockdown is over.

But staff the UK Addiction Treatment Group’s Primrose Lodge, which opened in February 2017, are warning that the government’s silence over seeking help during the crisis may create dangerous ‘bottleneck’ and fatalities.

A Covid Crisis Management Team was formed and by working proactively, the rehab centre remained open, operational and Covid-free, continuing to treat addicts from Surrey and the surrounding areas who most desperately need it. New addicts are treated every day. In the 85 days between January 31 and May 23, 105 clients were treated.

A centre spokesperson said: “Drastic operational changes were made to the UK Addiction Treatment Group’s Primrose Lodge rehab in Guildford the day the virus reached the UK. Without the help this rehab [centre] was able to offer during this difficult time, these addicts may have continued their addiction at home, significantly increasing the chances of putting strain on local ambulance and NHS hospitals during the peak of the pandemic.”

Compared to this time last year, admissions at Primrose Lodge were almost 20% higher, and the team blame the Government for their ‘chosen silence’ over what services were still open during the Coronavirus crisis;

Nuno Albuquerque

“Time is of the essence when it comes to successfully treating someone with an addiction,” says Nuno Albuquerque, Treatment Lead for the UK Addiction Treatment Group ( which operates Primrose Lodge.

He continued: “As soon as an addict asks for help, help needs to be provided. They cannot wait until lockdown is lifted. This is why it was crucial for us to ensure our rehab remained open and able to admit clients across Surrey during the crisis, and by acting swiftly we were able to keep all clients and staff safe during this incredibly difficult time.

“The Government chose to remain silent when it came to people suffering with addiction, they chose to not encourage getting the help they desperately needed and so we fully expect a rush of clients seeking treatment once lockdown is over. This is a dangerous approach to take, as in the last four months, their dependency will have worsened and for some, the delay in getting treatment may well have been fatal.

“Addiction doesn’t stop because we’re in the midst of a global pandemic, and so neither could we.”

Angela Richardson

Guildford’s MP, Angela Richardson, responded: “Addiction services for those in need is always important. I’m pleased that Primrose Lodge has remained open during lockdown.  The government has stated clearly in its guidance that leaving home for medical need is acceptable.

“I agree that all measures taken to ensure that our NHS was not overwhelmed during the peak of the virus were vital to successfully save our NHS.  I recognise that many who need medical treatment might be concerned about risk though it’s helpful that services temporarily paused during lockdown have restarted in a safe manner and I would encourage everyone who needs medical help to seek it.”

Primrose Lodge launched online group aftercare programmes available to all clients leaving treatment during the Covid-crisis. These support groups offer regular interaction with therapists and others in the recovery community to help prevent relapse.

To access safe and effective treatment and support for addiction near you, visit:


Share This Post

Leave a Comment

Please see our comments policy. All comments are moderated and may take time to appear.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *