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Essex hospitals get alcohol nurse

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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.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Hurrah! At last!

    Having recently moved to a gastro unit, I have been appalled at the vast number of alcohol related admissions. Half those admited are purely for detox therapy - the regimes prescribed vary dramatically depending on the physicians experience and there is no follow-up care or treatment offered. I have seen c10 patients readmitted within a very short time scale, some of which have been related family members.

    I question whether most of these patients should be in hospital at all - should mental health services be the primary carer? After initial short term hospitalisation to sober them up, why can't some of these patients be seen in a daily outpatient clinic for their detox?

    I can already hear people commenting on the fact that if alcoholics aren't detoxed they will walk out of A&E & start drinking again immediately. My answer to them is that I believe that the majority of alcoholics do that even after a 5-7 day detox regime. Having blocked acute hospital beds I have witnessed too many patients continuing to drink whilst on detox treatments & many more actively planning their next drinking session as they walk off the ward. They need help & the current NHS system is failing them.

    Can anyone tell me what is best practice?? I have many ideas & suggestions that I've mooted loudly to influential senior clinical personnel, seemingly on deaf ears. This appears to me an ever extending black hole in terms of NHS cash.

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