Reaching out to patients with alcohol and drug misuse problems

22 June 2023
Volume 32 · Issue 12


Jeff Fernandez, Lead Alcohol and Drug Nurse, Alcohol and Drug Liaison Team, Royal Free Foundation Trust, London ( The team was the Gold Award winner in the Gastrointestinal Nurse of the Year category in the BJN Awards 2023

The Alcohol Liaison Team at the Royal Free Hospital in London has developed its service provision from the basic traditional model to one that is better able to meet patient demand. It has developed the parts of the service that have been effective for patient outcomes, and this work was the main rationale for submitting the team for the Gastrointestinal Nurse of the Year Award in the BJN Awards 2023. The team, which has increased its remit and is now named the Alcohol and Drug Liaison Service, was delighted to win the Gold Award. It consists of two nurses, myself and my colleague Kevin Reaburn.

The team has offered individuals with alcohol dependency the option of being followed up by the service in outpatients or being referred to their local service. Having this choice has been important for those attending. The Alcohol Liaison Service Outpatients Service has expanded the number of clinics it runs weekly from one to three, including one in Barnet General Hospital. Patients are offered a service that can assess, plan care and treat them in a single appointment. This simple concept has proved popular, with high numbers seen by the team, with the vast majority having positive outcomes.

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