5 January 2019: Following the announcement by NHS England that Alcohol Care Teams will be rolled out in hospitals with the highest number of alcohol-related admissions, as part of the NHS long-term plan, Sir Ian Gilmore, chair of the AHA, comments:
“We welcome the announcement of investment in the most-affected 50 hospitals to help them deliver evidence-based alcohol care services. We are looking forward to seeing the full details in the long-term plan.
Multi-disciplinary, consultant-led Alcohol Care Teams with a 7-day nurse service are effective in improving health outcomes, reducing admissions and saving money. However, there are close to 200 hospitals in England that would benefit from such measures and we need to ensure that all people in England have access to such services when they need them.
At the same time, we need to do much more to prevent the problems arising in the first place and this needs urgent Government action on the main causes of alcohol harm – cheap, readily available and heavily marketed drink. Let’s celebrate the New Year by following the brave lead of Scotland and adopt a minimum unit price to tackle the cheap supermarket alcohol that harms the most vulnerable.”
An Alcohol Care Team comprises seven elements, including a lead consultant, a 7-day alcohol specialist nurse service and an outreach service to care for frequent hospital attenders.