According to Public Health England, every time somebody injects drugs they should be using sterile equipment – including needles and syringes, filters, cookers and swabs. But the reality is somewhat different. People who inject drugs are often put off asking for the injecting equipment that they are entitled to because of negative experiences.
NOTE: The secret shopper programme is not currently active, this page is included for reference only. If you are interested in helping NNEF start this project again by providing sponsorship/funding please contact us.
The NNEF are currently recruiting service users, service user groups and harm reduction advocates to become Secret Shoppers to try and find out what is happening in the real world.
Is access to needles & injecting equipment (swab, cookers etc) as easy in England as it should be?
We would provide you with a list of equipment to ask for; everybody taking part will have the same list. Then you can go into anywhere where injecting equipment is supposed to be available free of charge – e.g. pharmacists or drug services – and ask for the items on the list.
We encourage you to do this in a service that you do not usually use, or are not registered for – so that we can also see what the experience is like for first-time customers. To assist with this, we can offer a limited number of £10 grants to cover your transport and other expenses. After you leave the shop/service, please complete one of our short surveys – ticking boxes on a scale to rate your experiences. Everyone will work with the same form, which will only take around 5 minutes to complete
The NNEF can provide a strictly limited number of £10 grants to people helping with this project. This is because we want you to carry out the survey in a different borough/town/city to the one where you live, so you are mystery shopping in a place no one will know you. Please let us know when you register your interest if you would require one of these grants or not.