UK Hospitals: New Screening, Treatment Services For Alcohol Problems
The UK National Health Services (NHS) will establish new dedicated alcohol and tobacco treatment services to help vulnerable smokers and people with alcohol problems admitted to hospitals in England.
Smokers and people with alcohol problems who are admitted to hospital in England will be given help to quit or cut down, to reduce demands on the health service. Addiction to alcohol and tobacco were two of the biggest causes of ill health and early death. And the right support could save lives and help people stay fitter for longer.
New alcohol care teams will be set up in up to 50 NHS hospitals to provide on the spot support to patients and their families dealing with alcohol problems. The teams will be rolled out in areas with the highest number of alcohol related admissions, working with local community services to provide support such as counselling and medically assisted help, according to reports of the BMJ.
The idea is to give patients the support they need to take greater control of their own health and stay healthy longer.
Tackling pervasive alcohol harm
Alcohol-related harm costs the NHS in England around £3.5bn each year – admissions to hospitals have increased by 17% in the past decade to just over 2% of the total number.
But the use of specialist Alcohol Care Teams has seen a significant reduction in A&E attendances, ambulance callouts and readmissions. The teams offer specialist help to patients on how to reduce and quit alcohol use and support to remain alcohol-free, which includes written advice, as well as counselling.
Drinking to excess can destroy families, with the NHS too often left to pick up the pieces,” said Simon Stevens, NHS England chief executive, according to BBC reports.
Alcohol and tobacco addiction remain two of the biggest causes of ill health and early death, and the right support can save lives.
The long-term plan delivers a sea change in care for a range of major conditions like cancer, mental ill health and heart disease.”