Peterborough City Council has begun to use a fingerprint drug testing mechanism within its social care services.
In recent weeks it has fully adopted the system from Intelligent Fingerprinting, following the completion of a long running pilot going back to 2017.
The council’s partner in anti-addiction services, Change Grow Live, is operating the system within the family safeguarding programme.
It involves people providing a fingerprint sweat sample to a drug screening cartridge on a portable reader that carries out an instant analysis and provides results in 10 minutes. This makes it possible for the social worker to talk to the person about any drug use during the meeting, without sending them to a special clinic for tests.
Informed and engaged
Jo Foster, head of service for family safeguarding at Peterborough, said: “With sample collection in seconds and results in 10 minutes, the immediacy of the fingerprint based drug testing approach certainly makes for much more informed and engaged client meetings.
“There is also a significant efficiency saving across the process, as results can be shared more quickly with third party agencies as required – enabling a much more collaborative working process between the council, social workers and representatives of the family court.
“Service users are also very positive about the non-invasive nature of fingerprint drug testing. We’ve even had cases where clients have requested more frequent testing to demonstrate their recovery progress.
“And we’re finding that being able to complete tests and share results during meetings really helps in terms of building trust, while removing the requirement to conduct traditional urine, blood or saliva tests separately also makes the process much more transparent.”
Harrow Council has also been using the technology on a trial basis, and a spokesperson for Intelligent Fingerprinting said it has been in discussions with other councils about possible pilots.
Image from Intelligent Fingerprinting