Services Database Needle Exchange Provision (Cambridgeshire Area)

Service ID



The needle exchange service will be available to all presenting adults (aged 18 and over) who are resident of Cambridgeshire, who require access to needles and other injecting paraphernalia in relation to illicit intravenous drug use.

  • Young people under 18 years old should be sign-posted to the local specialised Young People’s Service. However, for young people aged between 16 and 18, where there is likely to be a delay in the young person accessing treatment, it may be appropriate to issue a small amount of equipment if it is considered that by doing so the young person will be kept safe from the risk of blood-borne viruses through previously-used equipment. Referral into the Young People’s substance misuse service should be encouraged and information provide on how to access this service.
  • The needle exchange service will NOT be available to individuals requiring access to needles and other injecting paraphernalia in relation to non-drug misuse related treatment regimens which require regular intravenous administration of prescribed medication e.g. insulin. Separate provision exists for these patient groups.
  • If the service user requests equipment not supplied within the needle exchange programme, the pharmacy will refer them to CGL Cambridgeshire.
  • Pharmacies in Cambridgeshire participating in the needle exchange service will work together to reduce the practice of sharing equipment amongst drug users.
  • The pharmacy will provide service users with:
    • injecting equipment in a suitable bag
    • information and advice around changing lifestyles
    • basic information on minimising the complications associated with drug use
    • information signposting them to substance misuse services within the community
  • The pharmacy will provide an introduction to the scheme and explain the rationale behind the service to service users.
  • The pharmacy should order sufficient materials to ensure continuity of the service.
  • An accredited pharmacist does not need to undertake the transaction or be present when the transaction occurs. However, the pharmacist will be responsible for ensuring that any staff member undertaking the transaction is competent to do so and have undertaken the required training.
  • The pharmacist will ensure that staff are made aware of the risks associated with the handling of returned used equipment and the correct procedure used to minimise those risks. Please refer to the pharmacies own safety guidance. A needle stick injury standard operating procedure should be in place and visible to all staff.
  • Used needles and sharps boxes must not be handled directly by any pharmacy staff. Sharps bins should be offered to service users to deposit used ‘works’ directly into.
  • It is strongly advised that staff involved in the delivery of this service are immunised against Hepatitis B.

Location of service

Cambridgeshire & Peterborough LPC


Other: Change, Grow, Live

Method of commissioning

Source of funding

Service type

Needle & syringe programme

Other organisations involved


Start date:
End date:




The lead pharmacists providing the service are required to successfully complete:

· CPPE Substance Use and Misuse (Modules 1 – 4) and the associated learning

· CPPE Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults and the associated learning

12.2 All pharmacists will be required to complete the CPPE Declaration of Competence for Needle Exchange Programme. It is recommended that all registered pharmacy technicians complete the same declaration. The declaration will need to be confirmed on PharmOutcomes via enrolment

12.3 The training requirements must be met within three months of joining the service and updated every three years.

12.4 A representative from the pharmacy may be required to attend an annual training event.