Leading on Outreach and Prevention

A major focus of Spectrum’s work is empowering people to take more control of their own health and wellbeing, supporting early diagnosis and intervention in order to improve people’s long-term health. We do this through our health promotion, education and outreach activities; designing services that engage with those who face barriers to mainstream healthcare; and by working with a range of partners to provide holistic care which builds people’s overall wellbeing and helps them reintegrate back into their communities.

One standout example of this is our award-winning Alcohol Liaison Service which has radically reduced alcohol related admissions and reduced alcohol related harm in the Wakefield area.

Alcohol Liaison Service

Established in 2013, Spectrum’s Alcohol Liaison Service (ALS) is an example of how close collaborative working improves public health. Based in Pinderfields Hospital, Wakefield, our nurse-led team provide a wide range of interventions to help patients address their harmful drinking, detox safely and gain access to counselling and other services to help them remain abstinent.

As one hospital detox costs around £600 per night per patient, the work of the ALS team also results in a significant saving for the NHS.

• Since 2013, the Alcohol Liaison Service has supported over 1000 inpatients to address their harmful drinking
• Between 2013 and 2017, the ALS has saved Mid-Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust around £1.5m in reduced bed days and early discharges and also contributed to a 34% reduction in alcohol-related hospital admissions
• The service was profiled in an ITN film made for the Royal Society of Public Health and was shortlisted for a Health Service Journal (HSJ) Award in 2019

As well as supporting patients, our ALS nurses provide substance misuse training sessions to hundreds of newly-qualified nurses and doctors in Pinderfields Hospital each year. In 2019-20, the ALS trained 249 staff and supported Mid-Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust in developing an E-Prescribing Pathway for the treatment of acute alcohol withdrawal.

The ALS also works in partnership with other organisations to help reduce alcohol-related harm and has worked closely with the Wakefield counselling charity, GASPED which supports the families of people affected by drug and/or alcohol misuse.