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Pilot scheme is launched to tackle alcohol abuse in Medway

By Jenni Horn

Specialist nurses will be treating people who are admitted to A&E because of alcohol abuse.

The new roles are part of a two-year pilot scheme involving Medway Council, Medway NHS Foundation Trust and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust.

The council is recruiting nurses with experience and skill in supporting patients whose alcohol use is “a problematic feature of their overall health and social functioning”.

The scheme is aimed at improving the identification and management of alcohol misuse in people attending the emergency department at Medway. The nurses will provide specialist assessments and treatment, and liaise with community services in the long term.

Families in Kent are to get more support to get away from drug and alcohol addiction. Picture: Thaumatrope/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Almost 2,000 people have been admitted to Medway hospital with alcohol-related issues in a two-year period between 2011 and 2013.

A total of 971 people were taken into Medway Maritime in 2011/12 and there were 973 in 2012/13, according to the NHS.

The statistics, released under Freedom of Information requests earlier this year, indicate people are 35 times more likely to be admitted to hospital for something alcohol-related in Medway than elsewhere in Kent.

Five children under the age of nine were admitted with an alcohol-related diagnosis between 2011 and 2013 and one patient in 20012/13 was over 100.

The figures include people on detoxes who may have withdrawals, those who have had a cocktail of drink and drugs and those who, under the influence, may have tripped or fallen.

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