Nurse Awards

Tackling alcohol harm and dependency

A nurse-led alcohol service in Tameside is seeing a detoxification success rate of 84% and saving hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Kerry Lyons Neil O'Connor

All patients aged over 10 that attend Tameside Hospital in Manchester are screened for alcohol harm and, so far, 2,800 patients have received specialist intervention from the team.

According to Public Health England the cost to the public purse of alcohol abuse in Tameside was £98.46 million in 2013, making it the region with the 14th highest cost per head of population in the UK.

Service lead Kerry Lyons scoped the trust’s existing approach to alcohol and found it inconsistent. Patients had protracted hospital stays and levels of re-attendance and readmission were high. Patients were not screened for alcohol harm and there was no staff awareness training.

Kerry set out to change the trust-wide culture towards alcohol harm and dependency, with a focus on care, prevention and individualised recovery.  

Kerry Lyons Neil O'Connor

She says: ‘The workforce has embraced change with care, compassion and sustained determination.’

The service includes a seven-day nurse response service and ambulatory detox clinic. A nurse-led fibroscan clinic detects liver harm earlier and its acute alcohol withdrawal prescribing protocol has been endorsed by NICE as an exemplar.

There are comprehensive training and education programmes for trust staff and other key care providers, as well as alcohol champions in every clinical area who act as ambassadors for best practice.

Clinical outcomes have improved significantly and hospital re-attendance rates have fallen.

The service is a finalist in the Innovations in your Specialty category of the RCNi Nurse Awards 2016, the profession’s top accolade for nursing excellence.

The award, sponsored by LV Liverpool Victoria, recognises nurses who have made an outstanding contribution to patient care or initiated projects that have made a difference to their patients’ lives.

Kerry says: ‘As nurses we stand with other nurses in our absolute acknowledgement of our individual ability and capacity to innovate, change and sustain things for the better. It is therefore a privilege and honour to be shortlisted for the RCNi Nurse Awards.

‘With significant and sustained positive outcomes, the service has received both national and international recognition. It is my intention, as service lead, to embrace this opportunity to share what I believe to be a highly transferable, quality-driven, patient-focused project.’ 

About the sponsor

LV-logoLiverpool Victoria

RCN members have been enjoying exclusive discounts on our products for many years and wen love being the RCN’s approved supplier for insurance. RCN members can benefit from discounted car and home insurance, and a 10% online discount on travel and pet insurance. LV= is the UK’s largest friendly society and a leading mutual with more than five million members and customers. Our mission is to help people protect and provide for the things they love. Find out more at www.lv.com/rcn