Alcohol Research UK. Published online: 4 May 2016.
New research published today (4 May) by Alcohol Research UK shows that while more adults are being routinely screened for alcohol-related problems in Emergency Departments in England more specialist support is needed to help young people and the vulnerable.
A new study by researchers based at the University of Surrey, funded by Alcohol Research UK, shows that Emergency Departments in England have increased the level of alcohol screening for adults – with the offer of specialist support for those attending with alcohol-related health problems and for those who frequently attend.
However, while most Emergency Departments attending to under-18s ask them about their drinking few do so routinely. This needs to improve to ensure young people considered to be at risk of developing drink-related ill health receive the specialist support they need.
Key findings from the study show that:
Almost two-thirds (63.6%) of adults are routinely questioned about alcohol use (compared to 47.7% in 2011).
Routine questioning about alcohol use among under-18s remains limited, with 11.6% being routinely asked about their drinking (up from 8.9% in 2011).
Access to Alcohol Health Workers or Clinical Nurse Specialists has increased by 13.4% since 2011 to 85.2% for adults displaying alcohol-related problems.
Forty per cent of emergency departments have ‘assertive outreach’ strategies in place to tackle frequent attendance by adult patients affected by alcohol-related problems.
Improved communication between Emergency Departments and GPs about alcohol-related attendance highlights a move towards multidisciplinary care, with 85% (compared to 74.8% in 2011) of GPs now routinely informed.