Chair’s Update (Jan 2017)

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I would like to start by thanking Jamie Bridge for all his hard work and dedication to the NNEF as Chair in recent years and I’m looking forward to taking on the role of Chair in 2017 and I’m delighted Jamie is continuing on the planning group along with Philippe and Nigel as Deputy Chairs.

As the NNEF did not have a face to face event in 2016 one of the priorities for us will be organising an event in 2017. Please get in contact and let us know what you would like to see on the agenda at this year’s event. During the AGM last month we discussed the priorities for the planning group such as pressing the case for drug consumption rooms as we have again seen an increase in drug related deaths in the past year, with recommendations recently published by the ACMD which included a call that “governments consider the potential to reduce drug-related deaths and other harms through the provision of medically supervised drug consumption clinics in localities with a high concentration of injecting drug use.”

The Secret Shopper project for Needle and Syringe programmes continued throughout 2016 and we have made progress with approximately 40 mystery shopping transactions taken place across England. We will continue to collect data and results so we are able to produce a report later this year. If you would like to get involved with the project please get in touch with the planning group.

As we plan for the next event, we’d also like to hear from members about their experiences locally of Naloxone provision following changes to the legislation in October 2015. Members of the planning group have worked extremely hard over recent years to ensure the provision of Naloxone has increased across the country and if there are areas that are having particular problems in getting it up and running…we want to know!

The NNEF will continue to play an important role to support members with the challenges of protecting and delivering excellent Needle Syringe Programmes. I am always in awe of the expertise among members and there is a wealth of experience and knowledge to be shared. The greatest strength of the NNEF is its members, so remember, being part of the NNEF means we are there to support each other to ensure we continue to deliver great services for people who inject drugs.

Look forward to seeing you at the event later this year!

Best wishes,

Matt Johnstone – NNEF Chair

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