2009 All Wales Needle Exchange Conference Archive

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Fixing - the future

2009 Conference: All Wales Needle Exchange Forum (WNEF)

Many thanks to everyone who attended the second national conference of the WNEF on 20th April 2009 ensuring another successful day. As with the previous year, over 200 delegates attended including service users, providers, commissioners and policy makers. Despite a few hiccups with the IT and time-keeping, the conference provided a great opportunity to network, share expertise and address some of the issues facing those commissioning, working in or using needle exchanges in Wales.

Presentations
Many thanks also to the speakers who provided valuable insight, perspective and experience on a range of subject including: anabolic steroids and performance and image enhancing drugs (PIEDS); high risk injecting practices and related harm reduction information; reaching and working with black and minority ethnic drug users/injectors and their families; and, foil distribution.

In addition, there was the opportunity to highlight new developments in training including the provision of naloxone to reduce drug related deaths, and safer injecting / social educator training which aims to reduce injecting related infections both viral and bacterial as well as improving knowledge and peer support amongst injecting drug user populations.

Copies of all the presentations are available here

Drug related litter provided the focus of the afternoon discussion / debate. Examples of existing good practice aimed at reducing drug related litter in Wales were highlighted. A series of questions relating to action aimed to address drug related litter were posed. Preliminary assessment of the delegate response sheets indicated that:
- Further action is required to address drug related litter in Wales
- National Standards should be developed to be implemented at a local level
- Awareness raising needs to undertaken, both at local and national level, using a range of methods and media

A profile of delegate responses will be posted on the website shortly and members will be contacted to establish agreed action to be undertaken by the Forum.

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Feedback from the conference was positive with some really useful suggestions for topics for next year’s conference and how the structure of the conference may be improved.

Suggestions for conference structure included:

  • more opportunities for questions / discussion
  • more interaction with the audience including workshops
  • bi-lingual materials and translation facilities
  • greater publicity of conference amongst service users via participating agencies
  • more service user involvement in presentations
  • longer conference – either 2 day conference or two conferences per year
  • use of different media including film or video
  • more guest speakers

Suggested topics / focus for WNEF in future:

  • Service user perspectives / Service user experience of needle exchange and suggestions for improvement
  • Harm reduction in prisons
  • Harm reduction for people with mental ill health
  • Young peoples needle exchange services
  • Safer injecting rooms / drug consumption rooms
  • Steroids and PIEDS (including young steroid users)
  • Research / guidance / best practice reports from UK and Internationally
  • Funding at national level, how it is allocated, and how it could be better spent
  • Drug trends
  • Engaging with hard to reach groups e.g. the homeless
  • Blood borne virus transmission
  • Progress of naloxone and reducing drug related deaths
  • Progress of development of drug related litter national standards
  • Needle exchange and the police, NEX in police custody suites
  • WNEF should develop the opportunities for lobbying on specific topics relating to needle exchange and harm reduction

We would also like to take this opportunity to advise that the WNEF will be working more closely with the NNEF for England, the Scottish Drugs Forum and the newly established Irish Needle Exchange Forum in relation to opportunities for lobbying and identifying best practice – links to these organisations are on this website.

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Presentations are viewable online by clicking on the relevant titles below:

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welsh gov

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DAN 24/7 Wales Drug and Alcohol Helpline

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Information pages index

Naloxone

Blood Borne Virus

Welsh Governments Service Framework for Needle Syringe Programmes