Alcohol Drop-In Service Provides Vital Support

12 September 2017

A drop-in clinic, that provides supports to people with an alcohol dependency in Crewe and the surrounding areas, continues to grow in strength. 

The clinic, hosted by Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CWP) is held at Catherine House in Eaton Street in Crewe on Mondays and Wednesdays between 2pm and 4pm and was established in early January 2017. Catherine House is the base for CWP’s East Cheshire Substance Misuse Service. It is open to any individuals requiring information and support regarding alcohol use. 

With no appointments necessary, the clinic aims to support people in an informal setting without the need for them to visit their local hospital, reducing the strain on A&E services. 

The importance of the service cannot be understated, with national statistics showing the impact of alcohol on the population’s health and also on health services. According to Alcohol Concern, there have been approximately 6,081 alcohol-related deaths in the UK so far this year. In England, there are an estimated 595,000 dependent drinkers, of whom only around 100,000 are currently accessing treatment services. 

With this in mind, the clinics offer people an alternative venue to obtain advice and support regarding their alcohol use. With a relaxed environment, the clinic is staffed by health experts experienced in the management and treatment of alcohol-related problems. People who attend the clinic are also offered literature that provides useful information regarding alcohol such as the relationship between sleep and alcohol consumption and also general advice. 

The clinic also provides a space for family members seeking advice and support regarding a loved one.    

Deborah Hughes, CWP clinical nurse specialist, said: “Due to the nature of the clinic, people can attend as and when they feel they need the support.  As a service we welcome anyone who is worried about their own alcohol consumption or that of a family member to make use of the service. It empowers people to bring about positive changes from a supportive and none judgemental team within the Substance Misuse Service. 

“The service currently has a steady number of individuals attending the clinic and a number of those people have indicated that they would have used hospital services, had the drop-in clinic not been available. What this typifies is how CWP are endeavouring to make services more accessible for our local population, and how we are making efforts to provide sustainable solutions for issues that affect local people and our wider health service.”

 

Case study 

Paul (not his real name) presented to A&E at Leighton Hospital with alcohol excess. With help and support from NHS staff, he was subsequently placed on a severe alcohol detox programme and wanted to leave hospital alcohol-free and stay abstinent. He had previously quit smoking by himself and felt he could stay off alcohol using his own approach. 

The Hospital Alcohol Liaison Service visited him on the ward and provided harm reduction advice, as well as an information pack with community support services. It was decided, together, that if he would like to receive extra support in the community he could self-refer at any time and the Alcohol Support Drop-in would be the ideal entry point into the service should he need more information. 

Following discharge, Paul went along to the Alcohol Support Drop-in at Catherine House. He needed to talk about his drinking and the problems he was having at work. We were able to offer advice and support and Paul was grateful for the advice and will attend another Drop-in session and stay in touch.

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