Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (MPFT) has joined a national campaign for the introduction of new measures to help with the reduction of drug-related deaths.

The Trust, along with its community-based alcohol and drug treatment service Inclusion, has signed up in support of a campaign led by the Faculty of Public Health, which calls for Overdose Prevention Centres to be piloted in the UK.

MPFT is the first NHS provider to sign up and joins a number of national healthcare organisations, including the NHS Addictions Provider Alliance.

Overdose Prevention Centres (OPCs) are healthcare facilities where individuals consume their own drugs supervised by trained staff, who can intervene if they overdose.

Available evidence has demonstrated that OPCs globally are effective in preventing drug deaths and help the adoption of safer injecting practices to reduce blood borne virus transmission.

According to figures published by the Office for National Statistics, there were a total of 4,561 deaths related to drug poisoning in England and Wales in 2020.

MPFT Medical Director Dr Abid Khan said: “The Faculty of Public Health’s campaign to pilot Overdose Prevention Centres, signed by dozens of organisations across the country, is one that MPFT absolutely supports as we believe the introduction of OPCs will help to reduce avoidable and needless drug-related deaths.”

Danny Hames, Head of Inclusion services for MPFT added: “Evidence strongly supports the introduction of Overdose Prevention Centres in tackling an issue that claims the lives of thousands of people each year. It’s important we do all we can collectively to introduce all available evidence-based interventions to save lives and protect health.”