MP to host drug abuse conference

Gisella Stuart, MP for Edgbaston is to chair a conference at Birmingham City University about drug abuse.

Called Substance Abuse: Cradle to Grave the annual event is held for students in the University’s Faculty of Health.

The conference will feature talks from a wide range of areas and services within the health sector to improve students’ understanding of the substance abuse, in addition to their formal studies. In addition to Gisella Stuart, three keynote speakers will be addressing the conference which will be held on 8th July 2011 at the University’s City South Campus, Edgbaston

A wide range of topics will be covered, including drug addiction and substance misuse during pregnancy, teenage substance misuse and alcohol and its effects on the liver. Approximately 200 students from the University are expected at the conference including those training to be midwives, social workers, health visitors and school nurses. Representatives from the National Council of Women (NCW) will also be attending, which will allow the students to benefit from the experience of the older generation of practitioners. The Faculty of Health works in partnership with the National Council of Women and the points raised during the students’ afternoon workshops will be taken by the NCW to the House of Lords for lobbying purposes. The first student conference raised actions on mental health issues, which formed part of a national lobbying campaign which was taken to the House of Lords.
The conference will also encourage students to learn together with those from other healthcare professions who they will be working with when they qualify, for example midwives, social workers & health visitors all work together as part of the multi disciplinary team to support the health & social care of families.

Joy Hall, Head of Department of Public Health stated: “The conference is an exciting opportunity for us to bring together students & colleagues from across disciplines, ages & experiences to focus on best practice in the area of substance misuse & addiction.

“It aims to help current & future practitioners to grapple with the often complex lives of the come into contact with professionally. It is great that the National Council of Women Great Britain will be part of the conference & take forward the views & concerns of practitioners into the political area, to influence policy at a governmental level to help improve the lives of these often vulnerable members of society.”

The Department of Public Health is part of the Faculty’s The School of Health and Social Care, which is one of the region’s leading providers of qualified healthcare professionals and one of the most diverse and vibrant providers of health and social care provision in the UK. Programmes span the range of care delivery from public health, health visiting, social work and communities through to emergency and acute settings. The School also offers a number of Allied Health Professions (AHP) programmes which are all approved by the Health Professions Council (HPC), enabling graduates to apply for professional registration.

Many of the programmes are built around essential clinical placements and a key feature of the School’s provision is the collaboration with clinical colleagues to ensure that students are highly skilled and therefore highly employable. All students have access to state-of-the-art learning facilities such as a fully functioning digital imaging suite, virtual 3D Radiotherapy planning unit and a simulated operating theatre.