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Reducing alcohol related harm

The ICS Alcohol Steering Group drives forward the alcohol priority workplan by identifying and facilitating opportunities for the ICS to work with partners to reduce the harms of alcohol.

Useful information and resources

  • Increase awareness of alcohol risk and support for action to address price, promotion, and availability of alcohol in the region
  • Improve identification and access to support for individuals and groups who are at risk from alcohol use
  • Reduce harm experienced by those with problematic alcohol use and dependency

  • An innovative project is being developed in partnership with the North East Commissioning Service (NECS) to support primary care networks (PCN) in a targeted population health management approach to improving recording and implementation of alcohol identification and brief advice (IBA) in primary care. Patient engagement is an integral part of this initiative which is being led by Involve North East and supported by Newcastle Gateshead CCG, and we are working with Newcastle University on the project evaluation. If your practice or PCN would be interested in taking part in this pilot please contact Hulse1@nhs.net
  • A comprehensive healthcare needs assessment (HNA) to be undertaken at ICS level as a strategic response to the increasing levels of alcohol-related harm observed in the region and to inform and support the ICS Alcohol Programme to refocus and reprioritise in the context of COVID recovery. The HNA will consist of three independent but related workstreams which will then be triangulated to produce recommendations at an organisational/locality and system level. Key partners in this workstream include NECS and PHE (Local Knowledge & Intelligence Service), National Policy Team and NDTMS.
  • We are improving the online information available to support the workforce in navigating alcohol intelligence and data, training, and signposting to support is under development as a regional resource.

Wherever someone lives, there will be a service in the area which supports people with alcohol problems. These services can be accessed in a few key ways:

  • A persons GP is the first port of call for alcohol problems. They will be able to provide confidential advice and refer for extra support.
  • A search facility for local support services is available to help staff provide information to local people making every contact count.

Other national support services include:

  • Drinkline national alcohol helpline. Call 0300 123 1110 (weekdays 9am to 8pm, weekends 11am to 4pm).
  • Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is a free self-help group. Its "12 step" programme involves getting sober with the help of regular support groups.
  • Al-Anon family groups offers support and understanding to the families and friends of problem drinkers, whether they're still drinking or not.

Fingertips - is a rich source of indicators across a range of health and wellbeing themes designed to support commissioning to improve health and wellbeing. The alcohol data can be accessed here.

Alcohol toolkit study - a summary of useful national statistics, including information on prevalence of excessive drinking, motivation and attempts to cut down, support used and reasons for cutting down, view the latest data here.

NHS Digital includes information on the below, you can view it here.

  • Alcohol-related road traffic accidents
  • Alcohol affordability
  • Drinking behaviours (adult and young people)
  • Alcohol prescribing in primary care and secondary care.

Health pregnancy indicators for smoking, obesity, early access to maternity services, folic acid supplement use and alcohol and drug misuse in early pregnancy can be viewed here.

Wider impacts of Covid-19 health monitoring tool collates metrics across a range of wider impacts, including alcohol consumption, view it here

Data to support alcohol licensing can be viewed here

A variety of e-learning is available and accessible to staff (both NHS and non-NHS) via the e-learning for health website including:

Alcohol identification and brief advice - here

Alcohol stigma - here

Alcohol reducing violence in the community - here

There may also be training available through your local public health team, workplace or Making Every Contact Count leads.

Alcohol identification and brief advice

Alcohol Screening Tools 

Alcohol Structured Advice Tool 

A set of materials to support training and the implementation of IBA in the NHS and other settings

Guidelines

Chief Medical Officers guidelines on low risk drinking 

National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) alcohol guidelines

Balance briefing on 'Drink Responsibly' messaging - here

The latest PHE report (July 2021) compares data on alcohol consumption and harm during the pandemic to previous years. Read it here.

The second part of the Dame Carol Black's Independent Review of Drugs has been published on 8 July 2021 - making radical recommendations for drug treatment, recovery and prevention. Read it here.

A study led by researchers from Newcastle University and published in The Lancet Public Health (28 May 2021) which shows a minimum unit price (MUP) policy for alcohol introduced in Scotland in 2018 continues to have a positive impact more than two years on.

New toolkit developed for practitioners working with families affected by co-occurring conditions.

 

Spotlight

Regional alcohol prevention campaign

Across our region we are working together to raise awareness of the risks of alcohol to help people live happier and healthier lives and reduce the harm caused by alcohol.  

Balance is an alcohol programme in the North East which is funded by seven of the local authority public health teams and was the first of its kind in the UK. It aims to tackle the harms at population level by making alcohol less affordable, less heavily promoted and less available, and making people in the region more aware of the risks of alcohol. The ICS alcohol programme co-funded the recent 'Alcohol: not the answer' campaign.

Get involved

Alcohol Clinical Network

This quarterly virtual meeting is a mechanism to bring together the voices of clinicians to lobby for evidence-based policy to reduce alcohol harm and shape the regional alcohol programme.

Please contact Claire.Jones23@nhs.net if you would be interested in joining the network or you can join our Future NHS collaboration group here.

For more information contact Sarah Hulse, Alcohol Strategic Manager for the North East and North Cumbria ICS Sarah.Hulse1@nhs.net

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