name is Annetta Cummings and I work as a Clinical Nurse Specialist
for the Alcohol Liaison Team.
I am based at the Accident and Emergency Department in Russells
A major part of my job is "working towards reducing alcohol-related
hospital admissions in the Emergency Department". This
task involves fostering positive working relationships with
partners and stakeholders in the community e.g. housing, police,
primary care, public health, relatives, etc.
A typical working day starts at 07.00 in the department and
ends at 15.00 in the community.
I liaise with the staff on the emergency department to look
for given opportunities to identify and offer brief advice to
patients who may misuse alcohol. This involves ensuring an understanding
of alcohol units and risk levels: low risk, increasing or higher
Also knowing where they sit on the risk scale, highlighting
the physical and mental health benefits of cutting down/stopping
their alcohol use.
The options I offer the patient for community
follow-up include education leaflets, information about advertising
campaigns, Aquarius, Alcoholics Anonymous, Community Alcohol
Team and Substance Misuse Team.
Some patients require specialist clinical assessments or advice
to assist medical interventions which can result in admission.
Undertaking community visits/outreach to patients from the department,
either at home or their GP surgery is a bonus to my
job. This entails discussions with family members or friends,
motivational interviewing, health advice, contact with specialist
services and/or liaison with partners and stakeholders.
Evidence from the Department of Health suggests that brief
advice can reduce weekly drinking by 13% and 34%, resulting
in 2.9 to 8.7 fewer mean drinks per week with significant effect
on recommended or safe alcohol use (Whitlock et al, 2004)
Everyone has a part to play with issues associated with alcohol,
so if you want to get involved or find out more please get in
touch on the following number 01384 366810.