Renewed call for Home Office action on drug deaths

27 Aug 2019 12:09 PM

Public Health Minister writes to Home Secretary.

Public Health Minister Joe FitzPatrick has again called on the Home Office to work with the Scottish Government to help stop the rising number of drug deaths. In a letter, the Minister repeats his request to Priti Patel for a meeting and urges her to attended a proposed summit on the issue in Glasgow.

The text of the letter is as follows:

Rt Hon Priti Patel MP
Secretary of State for the Home Department

23 August 2019

Dear Ms Patel

I am writing to you again to request an urgent meeting on the subject of drug deaths having received no reply to my letter to your predecessor (dated 19 July) or to my letter to yourself (dated 1 August).

You will be aware that our First Minister also highlighted this growing problem when she met the Prime Minister in Edinburgh on 29 July. I believe Mr Johnson indicated a willingness for his government to engage on this important issue.

As I set out in my previous correspondence, I consider that the matter of drug deaths should be a priority for both our governments. Your predecessor Mr Javid, and your colleagues, Mr Mundell and Mr Hancock, expressed similar concerns over the matter and stated they would seek to make progress on a collaborative basis.

I hope you can commit to attending a summit on this subject in Glasgow which we plan to host in the near future. Our aim is to bring together a range of expertise to help shape the next steps that can be taken to reduce harm and save lives.

If you can give this commitment, we can work with your officials to start preparations for the summit and ensure your availability as quickly as is practicable. It would be helpful to have a response by 5 September in order to make progress on addressing drug deaths.

Joe FitzPatrick