Alcohol chronic disease project

Alcohol Concern is working with the pharmaceutical company Lundbeck, NHS Wandsworth and local clinical experts to improve the primary care response to alcohol through the development of tools which link alcohol screening into other primary care and Quality, Innovation, Productivity and Prevention (QIPP) priorities.

The aim is to facilitate a GP who is talking, for example, to a diabetic to address alcohol appropriately. The project is working with five practices in the Wandsworth area in order to earth the project in the real experience of primary care.

Each of five practices is screening a group of 40-50 patients in a particular disease category: diabetes, hypertension, falls, depression and epilepsy. A screening tool has been devised which incorporates AUDIT C but also asks about other factors such as hospital use and whether they have previously been given advice about alcohol. People who screen positive on AUDIT C will have blood tests taken to assess the degree of alcohol harm. They will also receive a brief intervention and then will be followed up in three months to look at the impact of the screening and intervention. The final data will be published shortly, but early indicators show differences in patterns between the five groups.

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