Tameside's Hospital Alcohol Liaison Team Lead the Way
24 April 2014

Tameside Hospital's Alcohol Liaison Team

Three members from Tameside Hospital’s Hospital Alcohol Liaison Team (HALS) recently presented their successful Alcohol withdrawal pathway, at the British Medical Journal (BMJ)– International Forum on Quality Safety in Health Care.  A forum, in which over 3000 healthcare professionals attended from 75 countries all over the world. 

The HALS team have demonstrated dedication in achieving a significant reduction in alcohol related hospital re-attendances in addition to reinforcing safe and effective clinical pathways. 

The forum took place in the Paris : Palais Des Congres on 8th April 2013, a conference that is renowned for the opportunities it provides to innovative health care professionals who are formally invited to share local knowledge regarding areas of excellent clinical practice.  The objectives of the BMJ conference are to recognise accomplishments in improving quality and safety for patients and communities across the world.

Our HALS team, led by Kerry Lyons were formally invited to present an abstract, which gave the team an opportunity to share their work on the Hospital Ambulatory Detoxification service, Chlordiazepoxide prescribing pathways and champion the clinical excellence achieved around the acute alcohol management of patients with alcohol withdrawal within the Trust.

The HALS team is ultimately committed to reducing re-attendance and length of stay for patients with alcohol problems. The team has one Team Leader Specialist nurse – Kerry Lyons, two specialist nurses – Maxine Howarth and Carole Corbett, and a Data Administrator Joyce Southern who focus on maintaining a service which supports patients with alcohol related problems.

Working closely with all hospital wards, Accident and Emergency and the Medical Assessment Unit, the HALS team receive referrals for patients who are identified as drinking at harmful levels (therefore are at risk of liver disease and related clinical harm). The team are a key component, in the initiation of plans for Detoxification as a mechanism for supporting the patient to address their addiction and dependency.  The long term objectives of intervention are to support the patients in improving their health by ensuring the best possible clinical outcomes are achieved. The Team have an established training scheme for Trust staff and work closely with patient’s GP`s, and wider alcohol support services.

Kerry Lyons said, “I was honoured to receive an invitation from the British Medical Journal, to champion the work of Tameside`s HALS Team at their International conference on Quality and Safety, as a team - we embraced the opportunity to present our work amongst international peers’’.

Whilst in Paris the BMJ asked for both attendees and presenters to pledge a personal commitment to continue to improve patient safety within their own area of expertise and work – this pledge was to be made at the top of the Arc de Triomphe.  The Team all climbed to the top of the monument to pledge to continue their commitment in achieving excellent care at Tameside Foundation Trust.