Drug Related Deaths event 2020

Drug Related Deaths event 2020

Drug Related Deaths event 2020

Public Health Institute

The 2020 Cheshire & Merseyside Drug Related Deaths area-wide event took place as an online event on Thursday 26th November 2020. The event took place virtually via Zoom.

This event which is hosted by the Public Health Institute included a look at 2019's Drug Related Death (DRD) figures for reporting areas, and presentations of work around DRD prevention from other parts of the country.


Agenda, speakers & presentations

Event welcome and agenda

Mark welcomes those attending the event, and sets out the agenda for the morning.

Professor Raphaela Kane, Pro-Vice-Chancellor Faculty of Health, Liverpool John Moores University

Opening address.

Professor John Ashton CBE, former Regional Director of Public Health for North-West England

John was responsible for setting up one of the world's first large scale syringe exchange programmes in Liverpool in the 1980s, and has been active in the field of public health for many years. Most recently he published a new book “Blinded by Corona” about the current pandemic.

Mark Whitfield, Intelligence and Surveillance Manager, Public Health Institute

The 2019 data for Cheshire & Merseyside and the National picture.

  Download Mark's Presentation

Neil Woods, Former Undercover Drugs Detective Sergeant, LEAP UK

Neil talks about his experience as a undercover police officer, the “war on drugs” and how the current legal situation in the UK is a cause of DRD.

Kirsten Horsburgh, Strategy Coordinator (drug death prevention), Scottish Drugs Forum

Kirsten presents work which has taken place in response to record levels of DRD in Scotland.

  Download Kirsten's Presentation

Doctor Sam Wright, Senior Research Associate, Manchester Metropolitan University

Dr Sam Wright is a longstanding researcher into interventions to help people with substance use problems, she joined Prof Sarah Galvani’s team in 2016 to focus on palliative and end of life care for people using substances, their family caregivers and the practitioners who support them.

  Download Sam's Presentation

Howard Reed, Intelligence & Surveillance Systems Manager, Public Health Institute

Integrated Monitoring System (IMS) DRD module updates.

  Download Howard's Presentation

Breakout discussion groups

Discussion topics, and feedback session.

Professor Vivian Hope, Public Health Institute, Liverpool John Moores University

Closing remarks.

Breakout session discussion topics


How has this changed the offer from services and what will we keep going forward?

Mental Health

What are the barriers to people who use drugs (PWUD) receiving quality mental health care?


How can we keep the homeless population safe from overdose?


What can we be done about increased deaths from controlled medications?

End of Life care / Bereavement

Are PWUD receiving a consistent level of care and what support is there for those left behind?

Legal status

What can be done at a local level to make a difference?


How can we protect people who use drugs from overdose on their release from prison?


How can we ensure it is freely available to those who need it?

Event recorded video

Conference Video

This video of the event is almost 3.5 hours long. To watch an individual presentation or speaker please open the video in YouTube and use the time point links listed in the description.

  •    0:00 Welcome
  •   04:10 Agenda
  •   06:20 Prof Raphaela Kane
  •   12:50 Prof John Ashton
  •   16:45 Mark Whitfield
  •   56:35 Neil Woods
  • 1:18:30 Kirsten Horsburgh
  • 1:44:25 Dr Sam Wright
  • 2:07:30 Q&A
  • 2:21:30 Howard Reed
  • 2:30:45 Breakout groups feedback
  • 2:32:16 - COVID-19
  • 2:37:40 - Mental Health
  • 2:45:17 - Homelessness
  • 2:53:20 - Prescribing
  • 2:57:22 - End of life care & bereavement
  • 3:07:40 - Legal status
  • 3:15:00 - Prisons
  • 3:18:54 - Naloxone
  • 3:24:53 Prof Vivian Hope


Many of our speakers are active on Twitter, their handles are included in the agenda listing above.

If you want to tweet about this event please remember to include the tag #DRDevent

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