About this guidance

How was this guidance developed?

The recommendations are based on the best available evidence. They were developed by the Public Health Advisory Committee (PHAC).

Members of the PHAC are listed in Membership of the Public Health Advisory Committee and the NICE project team.

For information on how NICE public health guidance is developed, see the NICE public health guidance process and methods guides.

What evidence is the guidance based on?

Original guidance

The evidence used to develop the original guidance included:

  • Evidence reviews:

    • 'Injecting equipment schemes for injecting drug users: qualitative evidence review'

    • 'A review of the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of needle and syringe programmes for injecting drug users'.

  • Economic modelling:

    • 'Assessing the cost-effectiveness of interventions linked to needle and syringe programmes for injecting drug users: an economic modelling report'.

Updated guidance

The evidence that the PHAC considered included:

  • Evidence and policy reviews:

    • Review 1: 'Update of NICE guidance PH18 on needle and syringe programmes: qualitative and quantitative review updates', was carried out by Liverpool John Moores University. The principal authors were: Lisa Jones, Geoff Bates and Jim McVeigh.

    • Review 2: 'Update of NICE guidance PH18 on needle and syringe programmes: PIEDs review', was carried out by Liverpool John Moores University. The principal authors were: Geoff Bates, Lisa Jones and Jim McVeigh.

    • Review 3: 'Injecting drug use among young people – risk, harm and factors affecting access to services: a systematic review of the evidence' was carried out by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. The principal authors were: Lucy Platt, Bethan McDonald, Neil Hunt, Adam Fletcher and Tim Rhodes.

    • Policy review and consensus development exercise: 'Analysis of national and local policy and protocols on the delivery of needle and syringe programme services to young people under 18: policy review and consensus development exercise', was carried out by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. The principal authors were: Neil Hunt and Lucy Platt.

  • The fieldwork report 'Needle and syringe programme fieldwork' was carried out by AddAction and Tiny Spark project.

In some cases the evidence was insufficient and the PHAC has made recommendations for future research. For the research recommendations and gaps in research, see recommendations for research and gaps in the evidence.

ISBN 978-1-4731-0490-7

  • National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)