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Alcohol screening programme hits 20,000 milestone

A milestone has been reached for the alcohol screening programme at Poole Hospital.

During 2016 the 20,000th patient was screened, with a proportion being recommended as someone who would benefit from advice and support with their drinking. The screening programme was first introduced in 2014.

Through a hospital-wide ‘stop and screen’ programme, the alcohol care and treatment service (ACTS) identifies patients who would benefit from advice and support with their drinking, and ensures further help is available in the community once they leave hospital, with 20,000 patients screened last year. alcohol screening programme

Caption (L to R): Graeme White (head of addiction services), Sally Chalk (specialist addiction nurse), Steve Carroll (patient)

Widely recognised for the innovative way it has dramatically reduced the number of days patients spend in hospital due to alcohol, bespoke treatment is provided for those patients who are resistant to attending traditional addiction services. Overall, the team are improving the health and wellbeing of patients as well as reducing the demand on the hospital.

Local resident, Steve Carroll, who accessed the service for support to stop using alcohol, said:

“Other treatment services were available but they just weren’t right for me. My treatment for a liver problem at Poole Hospital led to me to ask for their help to stop drinking and that was my very first step. This led to being introduced to the alcohol treatment service over 2 years ago.

“Since then it hasn’t been easy but with hard work and support from the treatment team and my friends I have now turned my life around.

“I’m still sober and want to say to anyone in a similar situation - just take that step and don’t be frightened to ask for help, that what it’s there for. The world is my oyster now.”

Graeme White, the head of addiction services at Poole Hospital, said:

“We are excited to have reached 20,000 screenings in such a short period of time, and it’s great to hear from patients such as Steve the difference our help is making to their lives. Hopefully we’ve given patients like Steve the very best opportunity to lead a healthier and fulfilled life without alcohol.

“Overcoming an addiction to alcohol can be a long and difficult journey and sometimes you may think it is impossible to recover. Our aim to get patients to move as quickly and safely as possible through treatment to recovery by encouraging them to make long-term changes to their lifestyle. Our advice is, please don’t wait until you hit rock bottom before you make a change.”

For more information on Poole Hospital’s alcohol care and treatment service search ‘detox’ on our website,

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

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