RESPONDING TO COVID 19
We are encouraging NSP clients to stay home to reduce your risk of COVID-19. You can call us and arrange FREE & DISCREET access to bulk equipment.
Ring 0417 062 265 Mon-Fri 8:30 to 5pm.
We are working hard to respond to your requests so please give us as much notice as possible.
Given the current COVID-19 pandemic, North Coast HIV and Related Programs (HARP) will temporarily suspend all Emergency Department (ED) Needle & Syringe Program (NSP) fit-pack distribution to reduce foot traffic and impact on EDs across the North Coast. The following strategies for continued access to sterile equipment will be put in place:
1. Harm Reduction/NSP will offer FREE bulk delivery (HARP staff assisted or via Post) to clients who request stock. A dedicated mobile number will be promoted across MNC and NNSW LHDs and all calls will be coordinated by Harm Reduction team during Monday to Friday 0830-1700 hours. A centralised stock management and support service will be established to streamline this activity across MNC and NNSW sites.
2. Reduce cost of fit-packs and other supplies (water and filters) from $3 to $1 across all paid Automatic Dispensing Machines (ADM) across NNSW and MNC sites.
3. NSP will continue to maintain free vending machine distribution wherever feasible.
4. All staffed NSP outlets will cease face to face client engagement activities by offering staff assisted equipment supply. All staffed NSP outlets will adopt safety measures in line with the current COVID19 advice. Any client engagement and referral activities will be via phone/skype or other avenues where no physical proximity with clients is needed.
5. Harm Reduction/NSP will continue to coordinate the Needle Clean Up Hotline (1800 633 353) response across MNC and NNSW communities with support from North Coast Environmental Health team.
6. All distribution strategies will be closely monitored by the Harm Reduction team to make sure that all COVID 19 related concerns are addressed such as safe physical proximity.
These changes are effective from 2nd April 2020 until further advised.
The NSP distributes new injecting equipment in lots of places – click the link below for a list. The vending machines are available 24 hours a day. Some chemists also supply new injecting equipment.
If you have found discarded needles and syringes please call the Needle Clean-up Hotline on 1800 633 353.
For information and help if you have concerns about alcohol and other drugs visit the Alcohol and Drug Information Service or call them on 1800 422 599.
The NSW NSP is an evidence-based public health program. It aims to protect the community from the spread of infections such as HIV and Hepatitis C. Commencing in 1986 in Sydney, NSPs provide people who inject drugs with free and confidential access to new injecting equipment in order to prevent the sharing of equipment.
An independent report commissioned by the Australian Government found that between 2000 to 2009, Needle and Syringe Programs averted 32,050 cases of HIV, 96,667 cases of Hepatitis C and generated a long term cost savings of 1.28 billion.