According to new evidence presented at the recent British Association for the Study of the Liver (BASL) conference in Glasgow, an innovative service that treats individuals with alcohol dependence is having substantial effects and saving a considerable amount of money for the NHS.
The new service called Assertive Alcohol Outreach Service (AAOS) was developed by the liver unit at University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust. The analysis of data for the first six months since the service was piloted indicated that service had resulted in £78,400 worth of savings in acute hospital bed-days alone and additional savings with respect to ambulance and social services costs.
The AAOS in Plymouth identifies alcohol-dependent individuals frequently presenting to Accident and Emergency and provides them with targeted intensive tailored care for six months. The service aims to improve health outcomes and reduce NHS costs through home visits, liaising with family members and providing other services such as social care, housing and debt services.
Pam Healy, Chief Executive of the British Liver Trust, said: "The NHS Long Term Plan has recommended hospital-based alcohol care teams as one of the key interventions for preventing illness and reducing health inequalities."