New service to tackle alcohol related hospital admissions

People experiencing drink related illness and injury will be offered extra support from Spectrum Community Health following the announcement of an Alcohol Liaison Service with The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust.

Launching at Pinderfields Hospital in June, the Alcohol Liaison Service will include a daily clinic which can support anyone who attends the hospital with an alcohol-related illness or injury. Spectrum Community Health will also provide additional training to medical and nursing staff so that they are more confident and best positioned to identify and respond to people showing signs of alcohol misuse.

Sandra Wormald-McDade, Head of Alcohol & Well Being at Spectrum Community Health said:

“The new Alcohol Liaison Service will help Wakefield residents who have alcohol-related problems. It has been designed to support those who attend the Emergency Department and will extend into the wards supporting those admitted to hospital with signs of alcohol misuse.

“Patients will be offered the opportunity to attend one of our daily clinics, allowing our team to assess and treat on the spot; this could be by offering brief advice right through to treatment for more serious alcohol dependency. We will be providing a seamless transfer from hospital into community led support services and also improve care pathways so that only those requiring admission to a hospital bed are transferred.

“Additional training to existing medical and nursing staff will help them to identify those who need extra help in relation to alcohol misuse.”

Andrew Furber, Director of Public Health, comments:

“Whilst we know the majority of people across Wakefield District enjoy alcohol sensibly, in recent years we have seen a significant rise in the numbers of people admitted to hospital for alcohol-related illness. The Alcohol Liaison Service is greatly needed for those attending hospital to provide timely, effective, evidenced based care. Crucially, once discharged the service will ensure they are referred to the most appropriate community service so they continue to receive the support to help improve their health and prevent the need for further admissions.

“However, we need to reverse this worrying trend and to reduce alcohol-related harm more broadly. To achieve this we need to tackle some of the underlying cultural issues. This requires a co-ordinated, partnership approach but this new service takes a significant step in realising the ambitions for the district set out in our 3 year alcohol strategy.”

The service has been funded for an initial period of two years. It will see Spectrum Community Health employ new specialist workers, extending its already experienced team of health care professionals.

Spectrum Community Health is a social enterprise delivering a range of healthcare services, including expert advice, care and treatment for substance and alcohol misuse, and sexual health across the Wakefield district, as well as health and wellbeing services to local secure environments.

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