Services Database Needle Exchange (Ashton, Leigh & Wigan Area)

Service ID



The Service offered by the Pharmacy will include all of the following:

  • Distribution of a range of free injecting paraphernalia as deemed appropriate by Addaction following national legislation and local policy.
  • Provision of written information on harm reduction (for example on safer injecting or overdose prevention), plus the ability to refer to Addaction.
  • Display the National Scheme logo.
  • The Pharmacy will provide an introduction to the scheme and explain the rationale behind the Service to service users on first use.
  • The service user will be provided with access to a user-friendly and confidential service from a quiet discreet area.
  • The Pharmacy will encourage 100% returns and facilitate the safe disposal of used equipment. The Pharmacy should explore where needle syringe provision paraphernalia is being disposed.  Non-returns should not impact on the provision of equipment however strategies may be utilised to proactively encourage return.  For example in the event where the service user frequently presents with no returns then the service user is not to be refused supply, but rather a one needle emergency pack is to be supplied.  In recurrent exchanges where the service user returns the emergency pack, then the 10 pack can be dispensed.
  • At least one sharps disposal device will be provided for each transaction.
  • Information on the risks of unsafe disposal of injecting equipment.
  • Consistent efforts to maximise the return of used injecting equipment.
  • Risk reduction advice and health promotion. This includes advice on a range of issues including the prevention of drug-related death, safer injecting technique, overdose prevention, blood-borne infections, contraception and safer sex, alcohol misuse, nutrition etc.
  • Referral to other treatment services for effective health and social care as appropriate.
  • Provision of information on the use of acidifiers encouraging the understanding of the health implications of overuse.
  • Advice/interventions that prevent or curtail transition into injecting. These interventions should be targeted at current injectors and current smokers of substances than can be injected
  • Advice/interventions on drug-related harm that does not involve injecting (e.g. harm related to smoking crack).

Location of service

Greater Manchester LPC


Local Authority (LA)

Method of commissioning

Local Authority contract

Source of funding

Local Authority (LA)

Service type

Needle & syringe programme

Other organisations involved


Start date:
End date:




Addaction training for Pharmacy staff will include appropriate related topics including basic drugs awareness, referral, health promotion, and approach to treatment, local issues/developments and national guidance.
Attendance at the first session on initiation of accreditation and service provision and then at least one session per year is compulsory for the Pharmacist(s) / Pharmacy Manager / Pharmacy Technician(s) accredited to oversee the service in each participating Pharmacy.
It is also a requirement for the Pharmacist(s) and/or Pharmacy Technician(s) at each Pharmacy to complete the most recent CPPE Declaration of Competence for Needle Syringe Provision within 6 months of commencing service provision.
It is the responsibility of the accredited Pharmacist(s) / Pharmacy Manger / Pharmacy Technician(s) of the participating Pharmacy, to ensure all their staff including locums involved in the provision of the Service have relevant knowledge and are appropriately trained in the operation of the Service.  This will be monitored as part of Contract and Performance Management by Addaction. The Pharmacy must also have provided the staff with appropriate health and safety training, including the safe handling of injecting equipment, an overall understanding of the Service and its harm reduction ethos, and the importance of maintaining confidentiality.
The area of the Pharmacy used for the provision should provide a sufficient level of privacy and safety for the service user, public and staff.  A consultation area/private room is not essential; however if used a risk assessment must be undertaken.


This service is available in the Ashton, Leigh & Wigan area only.