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Needle Exchange in Custody: Protocol

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PROTOCOL FOR THE REPLACEMENT OF INJECTING EQUIPMENT
IN POLICE STATION CUSTODY SUITES

 

INTRODUCTION

The purpose of this document is to provide;

  • Operational guidelines to custody officers engaged in safe disposal of used injecting equipment from detainees at arrival in custody

  • Guidance on providing replacement sterile injecting equipment to detainees on release from custody.

  • The roles and responsibilities of KCA in this scheme.

This document recognises that both treatment agencies and the police are engaged in legitimate activities, which by their nature have the potential for conflict. There is a need to enable all agencies to function within agreed boundaries of working practice. We seek to formalise working arrangements between KCA and Kent Police in accordance with both national and local strategies.

 

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THIS POLICY WILL ONLY APPLYTO DETAINED
PERSONS AGED SEVENTEEN OR OVER

 

Kent police agree to adhere to the following procedures

  • When a detainee arrives in custody with either a used or unused needle(s) either loose or in a pack, then the police will dispose of them in the SHARPS container provided and kept solely for this purpose.

  • Officers are reminded of the need at all times to handle needles with care and to take precautions to avoid needle stick injuries. Disposable gloves should always be worn when handling items contaminated with blood.

  • N.B. ANY OFFICER THAT FEELS THEY REQUIRE FURTHER TRAINING IN THE SAFE HANDLING OF INJECTING EQUIPMENT SHOULD CONTACT THE INSPECTOR IN CHARGE OF CUSTODY OR THE DRUG LIAISON OFFICER TO DISCUSS APPROPRIATE TRAINING.

  • The detainee will be informed that their used needles will be disposed of to safeguard others from needle stick injuries and to safeguard their own health by preventing them from re-using that needle.

  • The detainee will be informed that they will be provided with a needle replacement pack and this will be added to the detainee’s property on arrest. These packs will be provided by KCA Harm Reduction Team and will contain 20 1ml single use syringes, 10 sterile swabs for pre injection, a sharps container, cigarette filters and a condom. They will also be provided with information about safe injecting, safe disposal of used sharps and where to obtain help and advice on drug related matters.

  • When a replacement needle pack is provided to a detained person this should be duly recorded on the Custody Record.

  • Any needle packs that appear to have been interfered with or are actually open should be brought to the immediate attention of KCA and SHOULD NOT IN ANY CIRCUMSTANCES be handed to the detained persons.

  • In all circumstances where a replacement needle pack be provided to a detained person they should be actively encouraged to speak with the Custody Nurse and a note made that this has been done on the Custody Record.

  • AT NO TIMES SHOULD A NEEDLE REPLACEMENT PACK BE PROVIDED TO A DETAINEE WHO IS NOT IN POSSESSION OF NEEDLES OR SYRINGES AT THE TIME THAT THEY ARE BROUGHT IN TO CUSTODY.

  • NO NEEDLE REPLACEMENT PACKS ARE TO BE GIVEN TO DETAINEES UNTIL THEY ARE RELEASED FROM THE POLICE STATION.

  • PACKS WILL NOT BE GIVEN DIRECTLY TO DETAINED PERSONS THAT ARE AWAITING REMAND HEARING PROCEEDINGS OR TRANSFER TO ANOTHER POLICE STATION.

 

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Procedure Checklist

  • Used needles/syringes are taken from the detainee and disposed of at booking in procedure, action is recorded on the custody record and ‘Needle Log Sheet’ (appendix one) supplied by KCA for monitoring purposes.

  • The detainee is informed of the reasons for disposal.

  • The detainee is informed that a needle replacement pack will be added to their belongings on release if they so wish. The pack is then added to the prisoner’s property.

  • On release, one pack is given to the detainee by the Custody Officer who will inform him/her that the pack contains information about safer injecting practices, a sharps container to return their used injecting equipment to a needle exchange scheme and contains points for advice on health issues.

  • Record the supply of a pack in log of custody record and on ‘Needle Log Sheet’ (appendix one).

  • Record the fact that the detainee was offered the opportunity to see the Custody Nurse.

Detainee remanded in custody or transferred to another police station.

  • As above except needle exchange pack remains with prisoners property.

  • Diabetic detainees who may have insulin pens or their own needles are not affected by this policy. However, under no circumstances should a used needle be placed in a detainee’s property bag, unless it is an insulin pen and the property is marked to this effect.

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Evaluation of Scheme

On a regular basis, the Drug Liaison Officer will meet with KCA workers to review these arrangements and identify problems from their implementation and/or concerns of any party.

KCA Agrees to the following

  • To provide sealed needle replacement packs to the police. These will include 10 single use syringes, 10 sterile swabs fro pre injection, a sharps container, cigarette filters and a condom. They will also be provided with information about safe injecting, safe disposal of used sharps and where to obtain help and advice on drug related matters.

  • To provide a sharps container to be used solely for safe disposal of injecting equipment and to dispose of full containers. The Drug Liaison Officer will manage disposal.

  • To provide effective monitoring proformas for the police to complete.

  • To collect the monitoring sheets once a month for collation and evaluation.

  • To provide training to the police at their request regarding the safe handling of injecting equipment.

  • Meet with the police to review these arrangements and identify problems from their implementation and/or concerns of any party.

  • To provide a weekly restock and collection of needles by KCA Harm Reduction Team

 

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Appendix One

Needle Log Sheet

 

NEEDLE LOG SHEET

DATE

NUMBER OF NEEDLES / SYRINGES CONFISCATED

REPLACEMENT PACK SUPPLIED? YES/NO

CUSTODY RECORD NUMBER

       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       

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