Knowledge mobilisation fellow appointed from Bristol Drugs Project

13 December 2017

Deborah Hussey, an Assertive Engagement Worker from Bristol Drugs Project, has been seconded to the role of a Knowledge Mobilisation Fellow with NIHR CLAHRC West and the Health Protection Research Unit (HPRU) in Evaluation of Interventions.

She will be working on a project to implement CLAHRC West and HPRU’s research findings on low dead space syringes into needle and syringe programmes’ standard practice. Low dead space syringes reduce the risk of spreading blood borne viruses. The research project found that people who inject drugs would be willing to switch to this safer equipment. However, implementation will require alignment with the local context.

The project, including Deborah’s post, is funded by a £20,000 ESRC Impact Acceleration Award through the University of Bristol. Deborah will work with Jo Kesten to develop infographics and training materials for people who inject drugs and needle and syringe programme staff. The materials aim to change practice and reduce the harm associated with injecting drugs, by encouraging the use of appropriate injecting equipment, including detachable low dead space syringes, and other harm reduction practices.

The award will fund developing, producing and disseminating the materials. The project will:

  • create materials based on our research findings
  • use infographics to encourage harm reduction practices, aimed at people who inject drugs and needle and syringe programme staff
  • include training materials for needle and syringe programme staff and evidence for policy makers

The materials will directly support Bristol Drugs Project’s objective to reduce drug-related harm, by piloting and assessing the effectiveness of infographics to disseminate information to hard-to-reach service user groups. This project will also promote national harm reduction partnerships between needle and syringe programmes to enhance harm reduction benefits. Deborah has been involved in the low dead space syringe research project from the beginning and is committed to encouraging harm reduction practices among people who inject drugs. Her expertise and connections are vital to this project’s success.

Deborah said:

“I am really excited to be given this opportunity to have a real impact on reducing harm for people who inject drugs. I am passionate about disseminating safer injecting and harm reduction messages.”

Deborah will hold a University of Bristol honorary contract and will gain skills in partner engagement and resource development.