Posted by Community Manager on 30/11/2012
Programme launched to stop the 'revolving door' of repeat alcohol attendances

Alcohol image c. The TelegraphThe Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity has awarded over £240,000 for a new integrated programme across King’s Health Partners that aims to reduce alcohol-related harm, reduce alcohol consumption and provide effective treatments for patients in our local communities.

The new programme will be led by clinicians from our emergency departments together with psychiatrists from the Addictions Clinical Academic Group (CAG).  The programme has an ambitious vision to reduce alcohol-related harm by bringing together colleagues across King’s Health Partners, local GPs, local authorities, commissioners and public health clinicians.

The emergency departments at King’s College Hospital and Guy’s and St Thomas’ see a wide range of alcohol-related problems. In 2011, there were over 400 patients attending St Thomas’ emergency department every month who were either ‘alcohol dependent’, ‘apparently drunk’ or had ‘alcohol’ cited on a GP letter. This new programme aims to tackle alcohol-related harm and reduce alcohol consumption.

The programme has several clear objectives, including: developing an alcohol recovery unit for patients who do not need to be admitted to hospital through the emergency department; incorporating the emergency transfer pathway between King’s College Hospital and South London and Maudsley; enabling greater scope for research into alcohol-related harm in our communities; establishing staff training programmes for clinical services across King’s Health Partners to improve patient care and management.

Dr Emily Finch, Clinical Director of the Addictions CAG, is leading the programme with Dr Beth Christian, Emergency Medicine Consultant at Guy’s and St Thomas’. Dr Finch said: “Our new integrated approach to treating alcohol admissions will be a truly collaborative model across the King’s Health Partners emergency departments, our boroughs’ local authorities, the police, and the South London and Maudsley. Our aim is to reduce the ‘revolving door’ of recurrent alcohol attendances at both our acute trusts and we are confident that through collaboration services will improve.”

Professor John Moxham, Director of Clinical Strategy at King’s Health Partners, said: “Reducing recurrent alcohol attendances at our emergency departments is crucially important. This integrated approach brings together the wide breadth of expertise, knowledge and experience across King’s Health Partners. This funding allocation marks an important step in our commitment to tackling alcohol-related harm, which is a key priority for our Academic Health Sciences Centre.”

The initial phase of the programme will run for nine months, from February 2013.

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