Somerset hospital introduces new support for patients with alcohol issues

A new service is providing support for hospital patients facing alcohol-related challenges.

At Musgrove Park Hospital, a team of nurse specialists assists patients dealing with alcohol dependency and those with a high alcohol intake.

Alcohol-related hospital admissions in Somerset surpass the national average significantly.

According to Lottie Lee, the lead alcohol nurse, the patients highly valued the provided education and support.

The alcohol care service of Somerset NHS Foundation Trust (FT) operates every day of the week.

Somerset FT reports that approximately one in five adults in the county consume alcohol at levels that harm their health.

The hospital admissions for alcohol-related conditions in Somerset are 668 per 100,000 people, exceeding the national average of 537 per 100,000.

According to Laura Jones, the clinical service manager for gastroenterology and endoscopy at Somerset FT, the Taunton-based service strives to lower hospital admissions due to alcohol misuse and shorten the duration of hospital stays for patients.

Laura Jones elaborated, stating, “When a patient is referred to the alcohol care team, one of our nurses will visit them on the ward and conduct an assessment.”

Laura Jones explained that they have two options after assessing the patients: they either continue to provide care within their team or refer them to an external organization like the Somerset Drug and Alcohol Service. She also highlighted their close collaboration with the psychiatric liaison team.

Ms. Lee emphasized that evaluating a person’s motivation to reduce their alcohol intake is “an essential and critical step.”

“Afterward, we can direct them to community detox services and even facilitate referrals for vulnerable patients. Additionally, we offer education on alcohol to colleagues, patients, and their families,” Ms. Lee added.

She mentioned that they are observing a gradual increase in the number of patients each week.

She added that the individuals they have supported have expressed deep appreciation for the education and support they received during their alcohol withdrawal journey.





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By Ryan

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