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National Recognition for Alcohol Team

Nottinghamshire Healthcare's Alcohol Related Long Term Conditions Team, has been chosen by Alcohol Concern as an example of good practice.

The team were chosen for the innovative work they do with people who are treatment or change resistant drinkers.

Information about the service will be disseminated nationally to Public Health England (PHE) leads and more than 25 local authorities who want to adopt a similar Blue Light Approach to tackling treatment-resistant drinkers.

A small group of these clients place a huge burden on public services and these include the repeated offender, the person committing anti-social behaviour and the frequent hospital attender.

The team works with this group by assessing the need of the service user from their perspective, assertively engaging, organising coordination of services leading to the appropriate use of the healthcare system

The work of the team has led to the improved personal experience of patients, and the reduced burden on informal carers.

The cost savings of the work with this group have also been incredible. In just one year the team has saved £360,000 in healthcare costs alone.

Mark Holmes, Team Leader said:

“Our service has already been presented to PHE events in London, Manchester and Birmingham this year.

“At all the events there has been great enthusiasm about our innovative approach and caring attitudes. It's clear that although our approach is unique by focusing on long term conditions and is the first to be recognised as good practice, it's not just us proving that this work is valuable. At the conferences I have met services from other areas of the Country doing similar work – and it's been incredibly beneficial to share our learning and experiences.”

In 2014 Alcohol Concern launched the Blue Light project, a national initiative to develop alternative approaches and care pathways for treatment resistant drinkers who place a burden on public services. This group has tended to receive a negative response with services suggesting that if the client is not motivated to change, then nothing can be done. The Blue Light project has challenged this approach by showing that there are positive strategies that can be used with this group.

Above all it offers a fundamental positive message that change is possible. The Trust's Alcohol Related Long Term Conditions Team has demonstrated this.

Mike Ward, Senior Consultant, Alcohol Concern said:

"Alcohol Concern has been working over the last two years to improve the way all agencies work with change resistant drinkers - the Nottinghamshire service is a real model of best practice in the national context.  Whenever we are asked for examples of Blue Light working in practice, this service is one of the two places in England that we point to."

A full report into the work of the team can be found below:

Notts Alcohol Long Term Conditions Team Report.pdf [pdf] 219KB

To find out more about the Blue Light project visit Alcohol Concern's website: https://www.alcoholconcern.org.uk/

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