Innovation and Research Unit

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WDP is an evidence-based organisation, and both draws from and contributes to research and best practice.  Continually assessing ‘what works’ for our service users, we collaborate with a range of academic institutions to independently evaluate our programmes, as well as jointly developing and coproducing new projects that bring us to the cutting edge of the sector.  
Led by Innovation Manager Laura Morton, WDP’s Innovation Research Unit places service users at the heart of our research, operating within a strict code of ethics and with rigorous quality control  Several of the working group members are also affiliated with the Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research & Care (NIHR CLAHRC).





  Current & Upcoming Projects


Street Drinking Project

Together with London South Bank University, WDP will be conducting a joint outreach and research project for street drinkers in the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham.  An exciting project commissioned by LBBD Council that unites the frontline with academia, our work over the next 12 months will centre on enhancing delivery of street-drinking services, exploring the local street-drinking landscape and developing the evidence base.  

Capital Card™

One of our most exciting projects is the Capital Card™, which is founded on NICE guidelines around contingency management in substance misuse. Putting into action the positive reinforcement of desired behavioural change, the Capital Card™ is a reward card scheme for service users, incentivising client engagement through a simple earn-spend points system. Already gaining traction and Public Health-approved, the six-month evaluation will be published late 2017/early 2018, comparing against its own baseline data as well as that of services across several comparative authorities.



Alcohol Diversion Scheme

In association with the City of London Corporation, City of London Police and London Southbank University, WDP are developing and evaluating a diversionary programme for problematic drinkers across the square mile. Currently in the very early stages of development, more details will be published soon.




Care Leavers

Following recent collaboration with Become (formerly known as the Who Cares? Trust), WDP are embarking on a prevalence study of ex-care leavers in adult treatment services. A care leaver has statutory support until aged 21 – 25 depending on the local authority, and in the substance misuse field little is known about this cohort beyond 26 years. WDP are recording care leaver status among our service users to examine whether a significant number access adult drug and/or alcohol treatment provision.




Assessment & Care Plan Review

Coproduction is a key principle of our practice and, in conjunction with staff and service users, we are currently redesigning our assessment and care plans. Having also consulted with Local Authorities and Public Health England, final versions will be made available in our services Summer 2017.






Morton, L. (2016) A Case Report of a Concurrent Treatment of Cannabis and Tobacco Use within a Community Substance Misuse Service. Journal of Addiction, Research & Therapy, 7: 279.

Morton, L. & Nanda, M. Capital Card™ Reward Scheme. Earn, Spend, Live: The Future of Client Engagement. Poster presented at: Social Prescribing: from Rhetoric to Reality, Kings Fund Conference; 2017 May 18; London, UK.

If you are a university and are interested in collaborating or conducting research with us, please contact Laura Morton on or 07918 641537