Low dead space injecting equipment has less space between the needle and the plunger after injecting. Blood and drug remain in this space, so if needles are shared the risk of spreading blood borne viruses such as HIV and Hepatitis C may be lower when there’s less space for blood to be left in the equipment.
The project team included:
Bristol Drugs Project service users
Deb Hussey, Assertive Engagement Worker at Bristol Drugs Project
Jo Kesten, Senior Research Associate at NIHR ARC West and HPRU BSE
Michael Linnell, Linnell Communications, a designer with extensive experience of creating health marketing materials for people who use recreational drugs
Zoe Trinder-Widdess, Communications Manager at ARC West
The low dead space project began with research interviews with people who inject drugs to understand the barriers to using the new equipment. The team went on to develop posters, a booklet and an animation to promote the benefits and use of low dead space equipment, and broader harm reduction messages, for people who inject drugs, the needle and syringe programmes that support them, and policymakers.
Central to the project’s success was the involvement of Bristol Drugs Project, both in terms of Deb who was seconded to ARC West as a Knowledge Mobilisation Fellow, and the service users who shaped the materials.
Lesley Wye, NIHR Knowledge Mobilisation Fellow with the HPRU BSE, developed the story alongside Clare Thomas, Research Fellow in Health Services Research Implementation at ARC West and HPRU BSE.
“By developing this story we really wanted to shine a light on a project that doesn’t fit the usual academic mould. The low dead space project brings knowledge mobilisation to life. It shows the power of working across organisations and disciplines, including non-academic disciplines like design and communications. It’s a story with Bristol Drugs Project service users at its heart.”