Shameful health inequalities
Blenheim have pledged in their 2014 annual report to campaign for best practice and positive change to address the many health inequalities in the alcohol and substance misuse field. These inequalities include;
- 97% of people with hepatitis C go untreated despite the fact that there is a cure available for this potentially life threatening virus.
- Despite a 32% rise in heroin and opiate deaths, naloxone availability in England is highly variable with little sense of Government urgency.
Blenheim challenges this clear inequality of care for the people it works with, it is wrong and will take action.
Drug and alcohol use can have a devastating impact on people’s health, not just as a direct result of the substance on the body, but also due to the life styles that drug use often moves people into. Poverty and deprivation often plays a significant part in general physical and mental health conditions and outcomes; poor housing or homelessness, bad diet, lack of access to washing facilities, and limited access to general health care.
Blenheim is challenging these inequalities by improving its own services, working in partnership with others and campaigning for changes in policy and care pathways to those that have the ability to make an impact.
Debbie Lindsey, Blenheim COO said: “Blenheim work to address these issues in many ways, from providing clean injecting and using equipment, to feeding people who may have limited access to fresh food. We work alongside health professionals in GP Surgeries, we host satellite services for our service users so they can get on site access to TB screening, BBV testing, prescribing and primary care. We support referrals to Mental Health Services, Hepatology, Sexual Health clinics and work hard to ensure that all the people that use our services have access to Primary Care.”
Download Blenheim’s 2014 Annual Report here.
Naloxone is a medicine that is safe, effective, with no dependence-forming potential. Its only action is to reverse the effects of opioid drugs, and it is widely used by emergency services personnel in the UK for this purpose. Naloxone provision reduces rates of drug-related death particularly when combined with training in all aspects of overdose response.
Hepatitis C is a viral disease which affects the liver. It can go undetected for years, during which time it can cause significant damage and can lead to liver cirrhosis (scarring), liver cancer and death. You can read more about Blenheim’s commitment to eliminating hepatitis C here.