The NNEF AGM meeting was held at the Fiends Meeting House in London. This meeting was an AGM only meeting (no presentations this time) and was followed by a London Harm Reduction Cafe event.
NNEF AGM Minutes
Jamie Bridge (Chair), Helen Wilks (Treasurer), Nigel Brunsdon (Co Vice Chair), Allison Downing (Co Vice Chair), Cliff Askey, Jane Askey, Vicky Fenwick, Mercy Nimako, James Pierce, Andrew Preston, Monique Tomlinson, Andy Timpany, Kevin Cundy, Pat O’Hare, Lucy O’Hare, Madeline O’Hare, Paul Sargent, Susie Dadlani, Gilly Ingram, Tim White, Tim Jake-Gluckman, Dave Estabrook, Frank Henderson, Kevin Cundy.
Martin Chandler (Planning Group Member), Philippe Bonnet.
- Welcome and registration
Jamie welcomed all and explained that this was a re-scheduled AGM for the NNEF as at the proposed attendance in Leeds in October the meeting was not quorate due to a large number of Planning Group and Elected Officers being unable to attend. Jamie also explained that he has been acting up as interim co-opted Chair since Martin Chandler stepped down as chair on 24 October due to work commitments. Helen clarified that Jamie had been asked to act up by herself and Martin Chandler in order that all the arrangements for the AGM could be made adequately and an election for Chair take place.
- Review of minutes from 2011 AGM
These were agreed as a correct record of the previous AGM held in Bristol in 2011.
- Review of NNEF accounts and financial reports
Helen presented the accounts and explained the activity on the account in the past year since the death of Alan Neill who was the former NNEF Treasurer. The 2011-2012 accounts have been based on our bank account activity. Unfortunately we were unable to recover any financial records other than the NNEF cheque book, however previous financial reports have been seen and agreed at AGMs. These accounts are confidential and were collected in at the end of the meeting, and show that NNEF is in a comfortable financial position moving into 2013.
- Election of new officers: There were 3 nominations received for Jamie Bridge, Nigel Brunsdon and Philippe Bonnet (who indicated he was interested in any role but was unable to attend today’s meeting). The meeting agreed with the proposal to elect Jamie Bridge as Chair, and to elect Nigel Brunsdon and Philippe Bonnet as Deputy Chairs alongside Allison Downing. Nigel will continue to lead on the social media tasks for the forum. Splitting the Deputy Chair role across 3 people will enable work to be spread amongst officers, particularly if some are away on business.
- Appointment of Planning Group Members
Jamie invited other people to join the Planning Group and explained what this may entail. It was agreed to add James Pierce, Cliff Askey, Jane Askey and Mercy Nimako, who volunteered at the previous AGM. In addition, Tim White and Tim Jake Gluckman will also be added to the group for 2013. An invitation will be sent to these new members to join the NNEF Planning Group Yahoo! discussion group. Vicky confirmed she is signing up as NNEF representative on the forthcoming NICE review on NSP guidance.
- Proposed changes to the NNEF Terms of Reference
“Needle exchange” has been changed to “needle and syringe programme”, and references to the UK have been changed to England. Secretariat functions are no longer provided by DrugScope, and HIT have offered to provide these services instead, with which the meeting agreed. Meeting frequency has also been changed to reflect current reality – meeting at least once annually. The appendix with Planning Group members’ names has been removed so that the document does not need to be updated so regularly. Section 7 has been changed so that Planning Group members are removed if they do not attend or send apologies for two consecutive meetings.The membership section will be amended, as the old wording was no longer fit for purpose given changing in commissioning and many third sector/social enterprise/businesses involved in service provision. It was agreed that at the beginning of meetings members would have to declare any conflicts of interests, and that any members with a conflict of interest would not have voting rights on related matters or matters that affected their organisations.You can view the current terms of reference here.
- Plans for 2013 meeting
There was a lively discussion about the next event, including content, venue and date. Jamie explained that there had been some criticisms of the agenda being too recovery focussed in 2012 and not sufficiently harmonised with the NNEF TOR and aims. Meeting agreed we want the next meeting to be very much a skills based event.Timing: Monique suggested avoiding summer holiday months, and also avoiding an event soon after April with the LA/NHS changes that are upcoming.Venue: Brighton or Bournemouth were suggested – Gill and Tim from Bournemouth are keen to support an event, Vicky also agreed Brighton would be good.
Topics: Tim suggested reaching out to mephedrone injectors, Cliff willing to provide a session on mephedrone. Monique mentioned that in Kensington and Chelsea there is a high amount of dance drug/injecting issues. Jane Askey commented that the in Bristol the session on ketamine was good and a follow up on this would be good. Pat suggested a talk about the impact of the recovery agenda on harm reduction. The meeting agreed that new drug workers are not told about harm reduction any more, so they genuinely don’t know about it.
Jamie stated he would like to see if we can get the list of NSPs from NTA to get new people to this meeting. Frontier are willing to provide information to those on their mailing list on our behalf. Kevin stated that there are many new staff in needle and syringe programmes and also an increasing number of administrative staff doing this work. They often need basic training and may not feel comfortable doing the job they are being asked to do. Cliff suggested a topic on equity of provision. Andy clarified that drug use is not “down”, rather it has changed and we need to keep workers updated of trends. David suggested payment by results and concerns about this can be manipulated.
- Round up of other opportunities and activities
The NTA conducted a national audit of needle and syringe programmes in 2007, but it seems unlikely that they are going to do another one. Yet it is important to see recent trends – are services closing, or shifting to pharmacy models etc? Jamie suggested we could ask suppliers if they have spotted trends also. Jamie proposed that the Planning Group take this forward for 2013, starting with contacting the NTA for their thoughts and support. Helen suggested we could go back to John Moores and discuss commissioning something, or approaching another university for a research student looking for a project. Helen indicated that depending on the type of survey done we may not need statistical analysis of the results and may be able to analyse in house.Jamie also confirmed that UKHRA is having similar issues with capacity as the NNEF, but feel they need to do something. Jamie and others have proposed that UKHRA is re-launched as an alliance of national organisations with a stake in harm reduction, and convenes regular meetings of key representatives (National Aids Trust, Terrance Higgins Trust etc). NNEF should also be a member, which was agreed by the meeting. The agenda can draw from regional issues raised by the UKHRA discussion lists etc.
Cliff mentioned that there is an international drug survey currently underway which is also asking questions about sexual behaviours, sniffing etc. NNEF should work with the survey team (led by Dr Adam Winstock) and strengthen linkages between needle and syringe programmes and sexual health services. David suggested including this in the audit research we do, and other topic suggestions included TB, sharing tooters and naloxone distribution training for workers (including pharmacy staff). Jamie suggests anyone who has any other question proposals to email us.Mercy mentioned a new report on hepatitis C in London, which strongly mentions harm reduction. We need to use this as leverage for promoting harm reduction. Jamie suggested that the NNEF website has links to key documents.Gill stated that we need to liaise and support each other regionally, and it was suggested that the UKHRA and NNEF discussion lists were widely promoted, as well as the Harm Reduction Cafe events. Frontier indicated they could promote the UKHRA lists to their contacts.