An alcohol nurse specialist was appointed for the first time to work at Colchester General Hospital and Essex County Hospital.
Eddie Lansdown will hold the post, funded by NHS North East Essex, for three years. He will work directly with patients and also to train nursing staff to identify those who may have a drink problem.
Mr Lansdown said: “The hope is that we will be able to identify patients who need some help with their drinking and put in place appropriate interventions so that they are less likely to need repeat admissions or visits to hospital.”
Around 5.5 per cent of all hospital admissions in the area – more than one in 20 – were alcohol-related in 2008-09.