A new way of supporting people who frequently attend hospital because of alcohol-related problems

South LondonGeneric Health Relevance
Start Date: 1 Jan 2016 End Date: 30 Sep 2019

About this project

More than one million people were admitted to hospital because of alcohol-related problems in 2015-2016(1). In many south London boroughs, admission to hospital because of alcohol-related problems is higher than the national average(2).

In south-east London, alcohol plays a part in the reasons why 70 per cent of people who go to accident and emergencies are there at weekends (40 per cent during the week)(3).

'Many of these patients come back to hospital time and time again,' says Professor Colin Drummond who is leading the CLAHRC South London research about how to improve services to support people who drink in a hazardous or risky way.

The CLAHRC South London research team is working together with the Health Innovation Network (HIN) alcohol research team (Professor Drummond is also a member of this team) to find ways of identifying and better supporting patients who frequently attend hospital because of alcohol-related problems.

The research team is investigating whether it is possible to identify these patients via hospital electronic records systems and other information collected by health services.

And the researchers have secured funding to set up an experimental 'assertive outreach' service for patients flagged as 'frequent attenders' who live in Lambeth and Southwark: Guy's and St Thomas' Charity has awarded £1.3 million to support the project.

Prof Colin Drummond