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Innovative alcohol service named finalists in prestigious national awards

HSJPoole Hospital’s alcohol care and treatment service (ACTS) has been recognised for the innovative way in which it has dramatically reduced the number of days patients spend in hospital due to alcohol.

In 2013/14, prior to the service starting, alcohol-related conditions accounted for around 7,000 ‘bed days’. Last year, the team reduced this figure by more than 20 per cent.

The team has now been named as finalists in this year’s prestigious Health Service Journal’s awards, in the acute sector innovation category.

A range of new initiatives are behind the impressive results. An alcohol lead nurse was appointed, providing expert advice not only to patients but to ward staff, while a new alcohol screening programme was introduced. This identified patients who would benefit from advice and support with their drinking, and ensure further help is available in the community once they left hospital. Around 20,000 patients are now routinely screened each year.

For those patients who frequently attended hospital because of their alcohol use, a new community outreach team was developed. This team aims to shift the focus from alcohol and therapy to more practical measures that can support sustained recovery and help patients move on from the cycle of treatment and relapse, for example developing new skills or interests.

Nine other hospitals have been shortlisted in the innovation category, with the final placings revealed at a gala evening in London in November.

Graeme White, head of addiction services at Poole Hospital, said being shortlisted is a huge boost.

“I’m absolutely delighted that the team has been named finalists in these national awards,” he said.

“It is great recognition for all the hard work they have put in to developing the service, and the difference they are making to patients’ lives.

“Alcohol misuse is a complex area of healthcare, spanning hospital, community and mental health care, as well as local authorities and voluntary organisations - we work with a fantastic range of partners to achieve these results.”

Date: 16 September 2015

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Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Longfleet Road, Poole, Dorset BH15 2JB. Tel: 01202 665511

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