Steering Committee

The DRNS Steering Committee provides overall management of the network, oversees delivery of agreed activities and outputs, and ensures that the network adhered to relevant policy and legislation.

 

Steering Committee Members

Professor Catriona Matheson

DRNS Convenor

Catriona is an honorary professor at the University of Stirling, an honorary senior research fellow at the University of Aberdeen, an independent research consultant, and a trustee and treasurer of the Society for the Study of Addiction. Her research interests are in the delivery of care to substance users through generalist as well as specialist providers. Past research includes exploring new services in primary care (e.g. naloxone distribution) and exploring health professional and the general public’s opinions about drug treatment strategies. Current work includes innovative community pharmacy services, services for older drug users and dependence on prescribed and non-prescription analgesics.

Dr Tessa Parkes

Deputy Convenor

Tessa has experience in the statutory and non-statutory health, social care and housing/homelessness sectors as a front-line support worker, team leader and mental health nurse, and has provided consultancy and training to a wide variety of organisations focused on service improvement to better meet the needs of healthcare users. Tessa has a track record of creating positive impact on policy and practice through research. For 20 years her research activity has centred on enhancing the experience of people who use health/social care services, with a clear commitment to social justice, health equity and advocacy for poorly serviced groups with a specialism in mental health and substance use.  She enjoys seeking out opportunities to move research into action including using participatory film-making. She is Research Director for the new Salvation Army Centre for Addiction Services and Research in the Faculty of Social Sciences, and is institutional Dean for Equality and Diversity at Stirling.

Professor Alex Baldacchino

Research and Development Lead

Alex is a professor at the University of St Andrews School of Medicine and specialises in psychiatry and addiction medicine. He is an Executive Board Member and Chair for the training and education Committee and, recently, President Elect of the International Society of Addiction Medicine (ISAM). His main research interest lies in improving the lives of individuals with a history of substance misuse problems. His research portofolios have a common thread of understanding the comorbid conditions (physical and psychological) arising as a result of chronic abuse of pharmacological agents with dependence potential especially opioids and alcohol. He is interested in utilising informatic systems, clinical outcome data, neuropsychological and neuroimaging processes amongst many other possibilities in order to identify and minimise risks present in this patient population.

Duncan Hill

Clinician with relevant experience

Duncan Hill is currently the Specialist Pharmacist in Substance Misuse (SPiSM) in NHS Lanarkshire. He started working in community pharmacy after qualifying from RGIT, Aberdeen, and became an addictions pharmacist in 2005 in NHSGGC then moving to NHS Lanarkshire in 2009. He is a qualified Pharmacist Independent Prescriber and has been practicing since 2007. Initially having a clinic with the Homeless Addictions Team in NHSGGC, and currently 3 clinics within NHS Lanarkshire. He leads a team of 8 pharmacist prescribers, working as part of an integrated multidisciplinary substance misuse prescribing service that support the 11 addiction teams in NHS Lanarkshire. He is an Honorary Lecturer at Strathclyde University and was a Honorary Senior Research Fellow at Glasgow Caledonia University. In the role at Strathclyde University he has been involved with the Pharmacist Independent Prescriber course as well as undergraduate teaching and projects. He is a member of the Scottish Specialist Pharmacists in Substance Misuse group, the Opioid Painkiller Dependence Alliance core group, the steering groups of the National Substance Misuse Non-Medical Prescribers Forum and the Drugs Research Network Scotland. Duncan has published a number of articles on various addiction related topics in peer reviewed journals.

Dr Lauren Johnston

Social Science lead

Lauren is currently a Programme Manager for the Renfrewshire Attainment Challenge.  This varied programme aims to reduce the poverty related attainment gap in pupils while improving literacy, numeracy and health and wellbeing.  Lauren has worked in various research roles at the University of the West of Scotland, the University of Glasgow and the former Medical Research Council focusing on themes such as blood borne viruses, children and families affected by substance use, workforce development and recovery orientated systems of care.  Lauren has a Post Graduate Certificate in Research Methods and has recently completed a PhD in the development of public health guidance and deliberative democracy at the University of Newcastle.

David Liddell

Non-Governmental Organisation representative

David is the Chief Executive Officer of the Scottish Drugs Forum (SDF) and has worked in the field of drugs, alcohol, and homelessness for over 35 years in England, Ireland, and Scotland. He was a key player in the development of harm reduction services in Scotland, advocating the introduction of needle exchanges and substitute prescribing programmes. He served on the UK Government’s Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs from 2008 until 2017, and since the creation of the Scottish Parliament in 1999, he has been a Secretary to the Cross Party Group on Alcohol and Drug Misuse. An active member of the European Civil Society Forum on Drugs, David is a regular media commentator on issues relating to problematic drugs use in Scotland. He has contributed to a number of publications on drug use in Scotland and was made Officer of Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the Queen’s 2012 Birthday Honours for services to disadvantaged people in Scotland.

Dr Alison Munro

Academic lead for Health, Social Care and Well-being

Alison is a senior researcher at the Scottish Improvement Science Collaborating Centre (SISCC) in the University of Dundee and a social scientist. She has extensive research experience in the field of substance misuse – in particular around injecting drug use, blood borne viruses, and developing and testing treatment interventions for staff and for people who inject drugs.  Alison also has research interests in co-production models of service design and delivery, implementing evidence in practice, and in issues relating to gender, social influences, and intersectionality.  Her recent research has included co-investigation on an NIHR funded study that examined the feasibility of delivering a tailored intervention to reduce the harms associated with injecting to people who inject drugs (PWID).  She is also currently the Principal Investigator on a grant from the Chief Scientist Office to conduct an in-depth study of Novel Psychoactive Substance Injecting in Scotland.  Her work at SISCC currently focusses on understanding and evaluating the process of getting evidence into practice at scale.

 

Dr Aileen O’Gorman

Academic lead for Harms

Aileen is a sociologist and senior lecturer on the postgraduate Contemporary Drug and Alcohol Studies (CDAS) programme at the University of the West of Scotland. Her research focuses on three interconnected areas: drug use and drug markets; the socio-economic and structural contexts of neighbourhood risk environments; and drug and social policy analysis and reform. She focuses on research that is participative, engages with the communities affected, and has an impact on policy and practice. She is a Board member of the European Society for Social Drugs Research (ESSD) and the Scottish Drugs Forum;  a member of the International Editorial Board of the journal Drugs: education, prevention and policy; and a member of the International Society for the Study of Drug Policy (ISSDP) and the Scottish Drugs Policy Conversations think-tank.

 

Dr Anne Whittaker

Academic lead for Families

Anne is an Associate Professor at the Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professions (NMAHP) Research Unit, funded by the Chief Scientist Office. Anne’s research experience and interests are broadly related to addiction within the family, including pregnancy, parenting, and whole family approaches. She currently teaches a masters level module – ‘Research Ethics and Governance’ – on the MRes in Health Research programme at the University of Stirling and was previously a member of Edinburgh Napier University’s School of Health and Social Care Ethics Committee. She has considerable experience in successfully managing studies involving complex ethical and governance issues and the NHS REC and R&D approval process.

 

Professor Betsy Thom

Academic lead for Prevention

Betsy is Professor of Health Policy and co-director of the Drug and Alcohol Research Centre at Middlesex University. Her research interests include alcohol and drug policy, gender and substance use, and community based approaches to prevention and intervention. She has been involved in several EU funded projects and has worked as a consultant for UNODC. She was editor-in-chief of Drugs: Education Prevention and Policy for twenty years and a member of the board of the International Society for Addiction Journal Editors (ISAJE). Her work has included developing and running distance learning programmes in drug and alcohol studies; most recently a masters in ‘Comparative Drug and Alcohol Studies’, a collaborative programme with Denmark and Italy.  Current research is looking at drug prevention interventions for young drug users in the criminal justice systems in six EU countries.

Alex Dunedin

Expert through experience

Alex has lived experience of homelessness, severe alcoholism and drug use, mental health problems, entrenched poverty and the criminal justice system. Having been fortunate enough to have got support for complex issues from community sources and the Edinburgh Cyrenians he developed an interest in education and learning as a way to develop his capabilities whilst making meaning of the life he has encountered. Learning and education have been a main artery for recovery along with the use of clinical nutrition. Through building community via the education project Ragged University and using his life as a curriculum, he has found various interests flower including enzymology, neuroendocrinology, biochemistry, the philosophy of science, psychology, sociology and pedagogy. These interests have opened up new opportunities and contributed to restoring an optimism which is needed to meet the various challenges he is left with. Recovery is a long journey bound up with the pathways which society opens up for each individual; with this in mind he is happy to be working constructively to a social legacy which serves everyone. People tell him that he looks younger now than he did fifteen years ago.

Joe Schofield

Research Coordinator

Joe joined the University of Stirling in October 2017 as the DRNS Research Coordinator and acting theme lead for prevention. Joe has worked in the NHS in Brighton, London, and Glasgow in a variety of public health roles, primarily related to sexual health, blood-borne viruses, and substance misuse. He has also worked as Programme Manager for Hepatitis C in the Public Health Protection Unit at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. During this time he spent a year on part-time secondment to the World Health Organisation as Consultant with the Viral Hepatitis section, and drafted the Manual for the development and assessment of national viral hepatitis plans. He has postgraduate diplomas in Health Service Management (Greenwich School of Management, 2006) and Public Health (University of Glasgow, 2017), and is studying for a Masters in Public Health at the University of Stirling.

Thea House

Administrative Assistant

Thea is a research assistant at the Centre for Networks and Enterprise (CNE) at Edinburgh Business School, Heriot-Watt University. At CNE Thea uses social network analysis to research the female representation on FTSE boardrooms and the delivery of social capital to students from ethnic minority backgrounds. Thea completed a BSc and MSc in psychology (University of Manchester; University of St Andrews), and spent a year working on an educational randomised control trial at the University of Bristol. During her academic studies, she spent two and a half years volunteering as a project leader at Student Action during which she led a fortnightly homeless outreach project. Thea’s main interests are health psychology, network analysis, and behaviour change.

 

Minutes

Date File
17 Nov 2017  DRNS Steering Group – Minutes – 17 11 2017
18 Jan 2018  DRNS Steering Group – Minutes – 18 01 2018
18 Feb 2018  DRNS Steering Group – Minutes – 28 02 2018
20 Mar 2018 DRNS Steering Group – Minutes – 20 03 2018
27 Apr 2018 DRNS Steering Group – Minutes – 27 04 2018
25 Jun 2018 DRNS Steering Group – Minutes – 25 06 2018