The commissioning and benchmarking tool
Use the needle and syringe programmes (NSPs) commissioning and benchmarking tool to determine the level of service that might be needed locally and to calculate the cost of commissioning the service, as described below.
Identify indicative local service requirements
The indicative benchmark is over 100% coverage (that is, each individual having more than one sterile needle and syringe available for every injection), which for a notional population of 100,000 equates to around 85,000 needles and syringes per year.
The commissioning and benchmarking tool helps you to assess local service requirements using the indicative benchmark as a starting point. With knowledge of your local population and its demographic, you can amend the benchmark to better reflect your local circumstances. For example, if your population has a significantly lower or higher number of injecting drug users, you may need to provide a lower or higher number of needles and syringes per year to achieve individual coverage of over 100%.
The number of needles and syringes provided for people who inject performance and image-enhancing drugs (PIEDs) such as anabolic steroids are not included in this calculation, but may be included in the tool when calculating the current and planned costs of NSPs.
Review current commissioned activity
You may already commission NSPs for your population. The tool provides tables that you can populate to help you calculate your current coverage (excluding needles and syringes distributed to people who inject PIEDs) and the costs associated with your NSPs.
Identify future change in capacity required
Using the indicative benchmark provided, or your own local benchmark, you can use the commissioning and benchmarking tool to compare the activity that you might need to commission against your current commissioned activity. This will help you to identify the future change in capacity required. Depending on your assessment, your future provision may need to be increased or decreased.
Model future commissioning intentions and associated costs
You can use the commissioning and benchmarking tool to calculate the capacity and resources needed to move towards the benchmark level, and to model the required changes over a period of 3 years.
Use the commissioning and benchmarking tool to calculate the level and cost of activity you intend to commission and to consider the settings in which NSPs might be provided, comparing the costs of commissioning the service across the various settings. The commissioning and benchmarking tool is pre-populated with data on the potential recurrent and non-recurrent cost elements that may need to be considered in future service planning, which can be reviewed and amended to better reflect your local circumstances.
Commissioning decisions should consider both the clinical and economic viability of the service, and take into account the views of local people. Commissioning plans should also take into account the costs of monitoring the quality of the services commissioned.
This page was last updated: 02 March 2012