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.
Last month, we announced the 2016 Annual General Meeting for the National Needle Exchange Forum (NNEF) to all our members. Unfortunately, it has not been possible to organise a full-day meeting this year. But the AGM – which will be held virtually via teleconference - is at least an opportunity to hear about, and participate in, some of the work of the Forum. The AGM will be held at 7pm on Monday 12th December.
We have received an information request from the BBC asking about the current levels of Performance and Image Enhancing Drug (PIEDs) users attending UK Needle and Syringe Programmes (NSPs). The current information from members has been anecdotal accounts of increases in use, with some locations saying that the bulk of NSP attendees are using PIEDs. However, as far as we know, there is very little actual recent data on this that has been collated. As a topic we at the NNEF are also interested in, we have agreed to collaborate with the BBC in undertaking some further research. We have put together a short form for our members to complete asking about PIED use in their area.
After years of advocacy, and months of consultation and discussion, legislation has finally been laid before Parliament this month to expand access to naloxone. Although ambiguously worded – as these things often are – it seems to indicate that, from October 1st, drug services will be able to supply and stock naloxone without the need for individual or group prescriptions.
As you may have seen in the media recently, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has launched new guidelines on medical injections and a global campaign to switch all medical and vaccination injections to syringes that cannot be used more than once. However these guidelines do not apply to needle and syringe programmes for a number of reasons.