Are UK alcohol policy and NICE guidelines, commending the use of screening tools and delivery of brief advice in hospital emergency departments being adopted?
A special report on a recent workshop hosted by the Drug and Alcohol Research Centre at Middlesex University in collaboration with CPI and Improving Health & Wellbeing UK
Specialist alcohol nurses are to be put on duty around the clock in every A&E department in Greater Manchester to help beat the region’s booze epidemic. Health chiefs want medics with special experience in treating alcohol problems to spot patients who need help. Health bosses say the move is a high priority and is one [...]
Nurses should be employed to visit homelessness hostels to encourage alcoholics to stop drinking so much and hence reduce associated hospital admissions, according to a successful pilot project. Mark Napier, managing director of CPI, said: “This programme has shown that innovative, locally-based approaches to tackle the health and social harm caused by alcohol can succeed. [...]
“Binge drinking” and associated harms in terms of health, crime and disorder have been extensively highlighted and are a cause of considerable concern in urban areas of the United Kingdom. This research set out to quantify the number of patient attendances at a busy adult and children’s Emergency Department that are directly attributable to binge drinking, and investigate ways in which inter-agency sharing of anonymised information may be used to design, implement and monitor interventions that will work to reduce these harms.
Strategy for Implementing Screening and Brief Alcohol Interventions in Primary Health Care in England
There is abundant evidence that screening for hazardous and harmful drinking in the primary health care setting and offering brief advice to patients drinking over recommended levels for “safe” alcohol consumption is an effective and cost-effective means of reducing alcohol-related harm. It is estimated that, if screening and brief intervention (SBI) were routinely offered to such patients by general practitioners, practices nurses and other primary health care (PHC) staff, the benefits for public health would be considerable. Unfortunately, however, for a variety of reasons, PHC staff have been slow to incorporate SBI into their daily working practices and an opportunity significantly to reduce alcohol-related harm is being lost. The study funded by AERC was aimed at making a contribution to solving this problem.
A Randomised Controlled Trial of Brief Intervention Strategies in Patients with Alcohol Related Facial Injury
Despite the fact that most alcohol related facial injuries are successfully managed surgically, the underlying cause, which is often alcohol misuse, is not adequately addressed. A recent study has demonstrated that a nurse delivered brief intervention in a maxillofacial unit is more effective than no intervention in encouraging patients with facial injuries to reduce their alcohol consumption.
Healthy drinking of alcohol may provide some protective effect in reducing the risk of the arterial thickening associated with ageing. Diabetics have an increased risk of developing vascular disease and most dietitians advise their patients to cut back on their alcohol intake. Could this put them at greater risk of vascular disease?
Maxillo-facial surgeons see a regular stream of young male casualties with alcohol related facial injuries. The majority of them have been involved in a fight, usually on a Friday or Saturday night. They attend an A&E department, receive appropriate treatment and are given an appointment for a follow-up clinic within the next 10 days. This clinic provides an ideal opportunity to influence the drinking patterns of these young men. Can a brief alcohol intervention, given at this point, influence future alcohol consumption?