Preventing Drug Related Deaths - NHS SMPA Conference 2017

Preventing Drug Related Deaths & Learning from Best Practice Conference, and launch of the NHS Substance Misuse Providers Alliance. Hosted by the NHSSMPA and Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust

In Manchester today we see the culmination of a number of months work where the NHS Substance Misuse Provider Alliance (NHSSMPA) formally launches itself as a collective of NHS drug and treatment providers working together in an effort to share the expertise and innovation we have to the broader sector.

As NHS providers of drug and alcohol services we benefit from having a long legacy of and experience of working with those affected by addiction, be this specifically through the drug and alcohol services we provide in the community and prisons, but also through working as part of organisations that often will contribute to these same individuals and families physical and mental healthcare at all stages of their lives and often with great complexity. Our commitment is that over the coming months and years is that we hope that the expertise and experience we have will be shared to the benefit of service users and their families through our support of policy development and the sharing of practical and innovative best practice.

No subject felt more pressing for the NHSSMPA coming together and running a conference alongside one of our member trusts, Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Trust, that centred around providing insight and practical examples of good practice that can be taken away and adopted in services in an effort to practically impact upon rates of drug related deaths. As an Alliance our ambition is that every six months we will run accessible conferences that focus on subjects which are of pressing importance to service users, their families and the sector. These days will always focus on ensuring that we provide useful examples of best practice from work which NHS providers are involved in. It felt appropriate that we launch the NHSSMPA through providing a conference that from the outset sets out this as our stall, which is providing the input that we hope, can make a difference tomorrow.

Part of the NHSSMPA further working to support the sector’s response to the increase in drug related deaths has been working with PHE and Collective Voice to produce a Shared Statement of Practice Principles. Members of the Alliance have been working closely with PHE and members from Collective Voice to ensure that when these are released in the summer they provide clear signposts as a summary of what ensures effective practice. For our part we will be working to promote and build upon these for the rest of 2017 and into 2018.

Danny Hames

Chair of the NHS Substance Misuse Providers Alliance