Alcohol Health Work

This report was published by Public Health England on 14 November 2014. This report is for local authority and NHS commissioners practitioners in hospital alcohol services and those in associated community services. The document summarises the available evidence for the contribution of specialist alcohol services for the patients in secondary care. It takes in recommendations from a range of advisers over the last decade and, based on recent surveys, explores the interventions that these services might provide and describes what is understood about current service provision.

The Public Health England survey found that, of 191 district general hospitals estimated to be an appropriate size to merit an alcohol services, at least 139 (73%) offer some level of specialist alcohol service. Of the 40 largest hospitals, which may be best placed to benefit from alcohol care teams, two were positively identified as having no service and a further seven were not known to have specific alcohol services.

See 'related pages' for a link to the document.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN), has developed a competence framework that describes the knowledge, skills and attitudes that are required to deliver patient centred liver care. The work has been supported by a range of key stakeholders including professional representatives from the British Society of Gastroenterology (BSG), British Liver Trust (BLT), The Hepatitis C Trust, British Association for the Study of the Liver Nurses Forum (BASLNF) and the British Liver Nurses Forum (BLNF).

The report can be found here: (opens new window)

In 'Signs for Improvement - commissioning interventions to reduce alcohol-related harm' [DH 2009] High Impact Change number 5 is 'Appoint an Alcohol Health Worker'. This is a commissioned activity that is calculated to impact most effectively on alcohol-related harm and reduce the rate of rise in alcohol-related admissions.

We host a dedicated Hospital Alcohol Liaison discussion forum where you can talk about your work and problem solve with others around the country. The forum is moderated by specialist alcohol nurses and you can ask messages posted to be sent to you via email for easy access.

Hospital Alcohol Liaison Forum

A report conducted by Alcohol Concern for the DH in July 2010 provides a review and description of AHW posts and examines a number of different models being used across the country. Service specifications, structures and protocols, job descriptions, data collection and other information is analysed and presented in the report below.

Many of the AHW case studies analysed in this report appear on our Projects pages and can be viewed in detail below. Additional documentation from these services utilised in the Alcohol Concern report are also available here.

The services are listed in the same order as the report and guidelines and protocols provided are local examples.

Doncaster Royal Infirmary - Doncaster & Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Westminster - St Mary's Hospital Paddington

Alcohol Health Work in St Mary's Hospital - full project details

AHW Presentations and alcohol Protocols and IBA tools from St Mary's are also available on the Emergency Medicine page


Bolton Alcohol Treatment System - full project details

Royal Bolton Hospital collaborative care for alcohol related liver disease and harm - full project details


Liverpool Alcohol Services Lifestyles Team - full project details

AHW Presentations and alcohol Protocols from Liverpool are also available on the Emergency Medicine page


Bristol Hospital Based Alcohol Nurse Specialist - full project details (opens new window)


Middlesbrough Hospital based Primary Alcohol Drug Service (PADS) - full project details (opens new window)


Nottingham City Alcohol Nurse Liaison Team - full project details

The Alcohol Liaison Service Business Case was developed to provide a pro-forma, which can be tailored using the accompanying Ready Reckoner to make the case for NHS and local authority investment in specialist alcohol services in hospitals.

The Ready Reckoner calculates return on investment by modelling the admissions savings from a user-variable hospital alcohol service model. It is pre-populated with admissions data for east of England hospital trusts, but it is possible for other areas to insert their own local data manually.