Update from NNEF Chair

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Wow, what a strange period we live in. A lot has happened since our last event in Birmingham back in December 2019.

Drug Related Deaths are still, sadly, far too high, although, thankfully, there has not been much of an increase in some parts of the country that have adapted. Which goes to show services can trust people with 2 weeks’ worth of OST and they “won’t take it all at once and overdose, or sell it all for drugs!”

But there are some rays of hope:

  • Liver transplantations and deaths from liver cancer due to hepatitis C are decreasing. More people are being treated successfully, which is great (although we need to be extremely vigilant about re-infections who are slowly but surely rising)
  • Although access to sterile injecting equipment and decent, adequate Harm Reduction advice has been badly affected since March 2020. In order to get a better picture of the situation, the NNEF will be working with the Hepatitis C Trust peers to conduct a large national mystery shopper exercise so we can see where we could improve things for People Who Inject Drugs
  • Heroin Assisted Treatment is going from strength to strength in Middlesbrough & the Cranstoun Diamorphine Assisted Treatment pilot is about to go live in the West Midlands
  • Newport (Wales) have launched a fantastic new peer to peer naloxone programme with many overdoses reversed already

I’m sure I’m missing loads of other great pieces of work going on out there. If you would like to showcase your amazing work, please get in touch!

We will not have a conference this year, which I know will be missed by many. We are looking forward to the possibility of a face to face conference (maybe early next year) because we know that we, and you, tend to leave our events energised and motivated to keep Harm Reduction alive and well.

In the meantime, the NNEF will hold its virtual AGM before the end of this year, where we will discuss the future of our organisation, so keep an eye out for more updates on here and on the mailing list.

You may have noticed our new website! Hope you’ll like it as much as we do.  Nigel (NNEF Co-Deputy Chair and web guy) has, yet again, done a fantastic job so thanks a million Nigel! I’m sure you’ll agree it’s really easy to navigate, it still has our usual, great shared resources, past conferences presentations etc…so don’t forget to make sure your membership details are up to date by filling our joining form with your current email address (you can find the signup form on the first page of the site and on the end of every page).

Hope you’re enjoying your summer, we cannot wait to see you all in person soon!

Philippe Bonnet
Chair, NNEF

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