DDN September 2023 DDN September_2023_v2 | Page 25

‘ That ’ s my favourite part of co-producing projects – the moment when you see people start to understand that their contribution has meaning .’
to direct you to the nearest naloxone supplier that can be accessed via a QR code on the posters , an idea from one of the co-designers . The app is currently only available in Somerset but we have a set of posters without the QR code that can be used nationally . Getting to showcase the posters at DDN ’ s conference was a great opportunity to introduce them to a wider audience .
At a concerning time for the sector with the increased
overdose risk from synthetic opioids , this Carry Naloxone campaign is part of Turning Point ’ s wider commitment to increase naloxone training and carriage rates among family members , friends , people who inject drugs ( whether they ’ re in treatment or not ), and people working in services and across key parts of the public sector including health , housing and criminal justice .
At present , under the Human Medicines Act 2015 , only those ‘ employed or engaged in the provision of drug treatment services ’ are able to issue the medication without prescription . While we wait for policy to shift , we ’ re doing all we can to develop more joined-up approaches and increase training and carriage rates across all groups .
CLICK AND DELIVER A new naloxone click and deliver service available through the Turning Point website launched on International Overdose Awareness Day in Somerset . This allows people to order naloxone kits online and have
The effectiveness of naloxone and the simplicity of administering was highlighted by the recent case of a member of the public using it in an emergency situation . Tom – who has no medical background or training – learned about naloxone from his wife , a Turning Point employee , and found himself in a situation where he had to administer it .
‘ I was just coming home with my daughter and found there was a woman sort of leaned up against the front of our house ,’ said Tom . ‘ She was not responding at all and totally out cold .’ The woman had overdosed .
Local people had managed to flag down paramedics who were on their way to hospital with another patient . ‘ The paramedic seemed quite worried ,’ said Tom . ‘ He tried to communicate with the woman , but she was unresponsive . I told them that my wife had naloxone at home and they asked me to go and get it . However , the paramedics had a patient with a broken leg and they had to get them to the hospital . The paramedics said they had to go , so they left me to do the injection , which was quite scary .’
Tom read the instruction leaflet that came with the naloxone and administered two doses , which enabled the woman to regain consciousness . Another ambulance came but Tom ’ s effort saw the woman walk away without needing further assistance .
Though it ’ s still an emotional memory for Tom , he urges others to embrace naloxone , especially if they live in an area with a highprevalence of drug use . ‘ It ’ s important to know that you can ’ t overdose on naloxone . There ’ s very little you can do wrong , and you could well save someone ’ s life .’
them delivered straight to their homes , and will be particularly beneficial for those who may be reluctant to collect a kit from the pharmacy . Following a trial period , we hope to roll the scheme out across Turning Point services nationally .
PRISON TRAINING At one of our services , HMP Thameside in south-east London , as well as running drug and alcohol rehabilitation programmes , we train prisoners and prison officers in how to use naloxone . Seamus Tobin , Turning Point ’ s senior operations manager at the service , has been stressing the need for naloxone for prison leavers for almost a decade . Even if someone leaves prison and dies within six weeks , it ’ s still classed as a death in custody . After securing a six-month naloxone pilot through NHS England in 2020 , the Turning Point team at HMP Thameside trained and handed out around 450 naloxone packs in that period .
The programme at HMP Thameside is now permanent thanks to funding from NHS England . ‘ The people carrying the naloxone packs – it ’ s not their lives they ’ re going to be saving , it ’ s someone who ’ s using in their community and overdoses ,’ said Seamus .
Deb Hussey is national safer lives lead at Turning Point