A national study of acute hospital-based Alcohol Health Workers.

Sarah Baker, Charlie Lloyd, Noreen D Mdege, Paul Toner

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster


Aims and objectives
AHWs (Alcohol Health Workers) have been identified as an effective means of tackling alcohol-related hospital admissions. However, there is no understanding of the national coverage, or the extent and diversity of the service hospital-based AHWs provide. Our study aims to estimate the current provision of AHWs in acute hospitals across England.
Cross-sectional questionnaires delivered over the telephone or online and qualitative face-to-face semi-structured interviews.
A random geographically representative sample of large acute hospitals in England.
AHWs in acute hospitals and staff associated with the services they provide.
One AHW from each eligible hospital was invited to take part in a telephone or online questionnaire to evaluate the current provision of AHWs. SPSS (version 20) was used to analyse the quantitative data. Supporting qualitative data from AHWs and associated staff was obtained using semi-structured interviews in an attempt to increase our overall understanding.
The majority of hospitals employed AHWs, mostly funded by partnerships between two or more organisations. AHW provision was positively associated with alcohol-related admissions. Most services consisted of qualified nurses, operated 9am to 5pm and focused on adult care. AHWs saw mainly dependent drinkers and their roles included: screening, brief intervention, liaison, education, protocol development, follow-up and discharge planning, detoxification, management of ‘frequent fliers’, prescribing, and outpatient clinic work. Qualitative data provided further insight into hospital-based AHW services.
We found significant differences with regards to the extent and diversity of AHW provision. Further research is necessary to examine different ‘service types’, establish effective ways of working, and determine whether sources of funding could and should more accurately reflect the remit of hospital-based AHW roles.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013
EventSociety for the Study of Addiction Annual Conference -
Duration: 03 Nov 2011 → …


ConferenceSociety for the Study of Addiction Annual Conference
Period03/11/2011 → …


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