East Lancashire Hospitals secure funding for new alcohol care team

East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust have secured funding on behalf of the Pennine Lancashire Integrated Care Partnership to establish an alcohol care team in Pennine Lancashire.

Friday, 27th August 2021, 3:45 pm

The funding awarded by the NHS National Prevention Programme has been committed over a three-year period to reduce alcohol related harm and the impact of this within the local area.

Pennine Lancashire has been identified as an area of significant risk around alcohol use with over 2,700 alcohol related hospital admissions each year.

From 2018-2019 approximately 6,852 alcohol dependent adults were identified across the area and it is expected that this figure will have increased during the coronavirus pandemic.

Laura Walker, lead nurse for Pennine Lancashire alcohol care team

ELHT have recently appointed Laura Walker as lead nurse for alcohol who will be responsible for the recruitment and management of the new alcohol care team.

Laura is a qualified mental health nurse and is looking forward to making a real difference.

She said: “I have worked with people who use alcohol and drugs for over 20 years, both in community treatment and acute settings.

“I feel very fortunate to have been given this opportunity to help shape the alcohol care team with ELHT, supported by local partners such as the Clinical Commissioning Groups, and national charity, Change, Grow, Live, who specialise in substance misuse.

"I have been genuinely warmed by the level of interest, support and collaborative working across Pennine Lancashire.”

The NHS Long Term Plan contains ambitious objectives to step up efforts in prevention, by detecting alcohol disease early and preventing deterioration of health.

It aims to improve quality of life through deploying ACT’s in Hospitals that are disproportionately affected by alcohol.

Dominic Harrison, director of public health for Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council added: “It is great news that we are receiving additional investment and capacity locally to support local unmet alcohol needs, particularly the relationship and interface between acute and community treatment interventions.

“This comes at a time of significant increases in terms of alcohol liver deaths locally and nationally. Alcohol misuse appears to have increased further in areas affected by health inequalities during the pandemic.

“This additional funding goes some way in our efforts to recover from the pandemic as well as reverse significant health inequalities across Pennine Lancashire.”

Matt Sutcliffe, directorate manager for diabetes and endocrinology at ELHT, added: “We are delighted to have received confirmation from the national team that we have been granted a substantial amount of funding which will enable the project to move forward at pace.

“There has been a lot of really positive cooperative work which has included a wide range of partners in developing a robust plan to support the establishment of this team at ELHT.”