Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Specialist nurse starts new alcohol role at Midlands hospital


A specialist nurse is to lead initiatives at Queen’s Hospital in Burton aimed at preventing alcohol-related illnesses and providing support for patients who want to cut down on drinking.

Arlene Copland has just started in her post as alcohol specialist nurse based at Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

It will be part of her role to follow-up on patients who present at the emergency department during evenings and weekends with alcohol issues, but who are not admitted. She will also be working with a newly-formed alcohol care team intended to develop integrated support and education services.

“Even a brief, friendly informal chat between a patient and a health professional can have a huge impact on someone’s alcohol intake”

Arlene Copland

Ms Copland, who is employed by mental health provider North Staffs Combined Healthcare Trust, said: “Alcohol misuse is classed as a mental illness, so general doctors and nurses don’t get much specialist training to help them understand addiction and withdrawal.

“I will be working at Queen’s Hospital to implement screening of all patients and to standardise the way staff members assess who should be admitted to hospital, what medication should be prescribed and how people can be supported in the community when they leave hospital,” she said.

As well as putting measures and processes in place to help patients who are dependent on alcohol and those concerned about their alcohol consumption, Ms Copland wants to promote the message that everyone will see health benefits if they reduce alcohol consumption.

She said: “I believe that even a brief, friendly informal chat between a patient and a health professional can have a huge impact on someone’s alcohol intake.

“There is evidence that for every eight people a health professional asks about their alcohol intake – one will make significant changes to their drinking habits,” she said. “That can make a huge difference to their health now and in the future.”


Readers' comments (2)

  • This is fabulous news ! An essential role that is very much needed . As a student nurse interested in substance misuse I hope I can gain further knowledge and experience within this area and the development of this team will allow me to do so .

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Good luck with the position. We have done the same in our hospital. Lunds University hospital, for some years nw. We helped a lot of people.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.