The Department of Health has identified a number of High Impact Changes which are calculated to be the most effective actions for those local areas that have prioritised the reduction in alcohol-related harm. High Impact Changes have been extensively used across the NHS and local government to highlight practical measures that can be implemented at local level:
- Work in partnership
- Develop activities to control the impact of alcohol misuse in the community
- Influence change through advocacy
- Improve the effectiveness and capacity of specialist treatment
- Appoint an Alcohol Health Worker
- IBA - Provide more help to encourage people to drink less
- Amplify national social marketing priorities
The information provided here identifies those changes which are calculated to have the greatest impact on health commissioned outcomes and suggests some actions which are calculated as being likely to have the best impact for areas where tackling alcohol-related harm has been identified as a priority.
The High Impact Change guidance can be downloaded here as Appendix 4 of the DH commissioning guidance in 'Signs for improvement - commissioning interventions to reduce alcohol related harm '
Using the Guidance
Commissioners, their partners and service providers have asked for guidance and help to target their work to reduce alcohol related harm. It is hoped that this practical guidance will answer this request.
The first three High Impact Changes are necessary enabling actions that set the scene for success. The latter four changes are services and activities that can be commissioned that are calculated to impact most effectively on alcohol-related harm and reduce the rate of rise in alcohol-related admissions.
The High Impact Changes for Alcohol presented here are linked. The temptation to see them as completely separate activities from each other would be the wrong approach. While changes 4 through 7 are supported by clear evidence of their impact, changes 1 through 3 are changes that set the scene for progress.
The first High Impact Change, Work in partnership, is a major building block for success as it is unlikely that progress on reducing alcohol harm at any level will be effective without good partnership working in place.
Change two, Developing activities to control the impact of alcohol misuse in thecommunity, is everyone's business - the NHS because of the high cost of alcohol related illnesses and its impact in the form of alcohol-related hospital admissions, Local Authorities because of quality of life and community safety and the criminal justice system because of the link between alcohol, crime and public disorder. All partners need to use their existing powers to make the maximum impact on alcohol-related harm.
The latter four High Impact Changes are services and activities that can be commissioned with proven or emerging evidence of their effectiveness and direct impact on hospital admissions.