The Alcohol Care Team project aims to reduce/prevent alcohol admissions and readmissions to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) through screening hospital patients for possible alcohol misuse and increasing the capacity for alcohol treatment within community settings. The regional innovation funding will be used to expand the successful project which is already reducing alcohol-related admissions to the NNUH.
Dr Martin Phillips, consultant gastroenterologist at NNUH said:
The Alcohol Care Team project has injected resources into the hospital for early assessment and management of patients with alcohol misuse problems. In addition, the project has provided extra resources in community alcohol services so that patients can now be discharged from hospital earlier than before, with guaranteed community alcohol service follow up immediately on discharge.
Roz Brooks, Trust Alcohol and Drug service manager said:
“The outcomes of this project so far have been fantastic. Some people who have had more than 20 detox programmes previously have stayed dry as a result of this project.
“A vital element is that we concentrate on psycho-social support and relapse prevention; we look at the cause of drinking and develop care plans. It’s a far cry from the old tradition by which people are released from hospital in a taxi, stop off at the off-licence on the way home, and start the whole cycle again.”
Alcohol was estimated to cost the NHS £2.7bn in 2006/07. Evaluations have already demonstrated the Alcohol Care Team project’s ability to reduce alcohol-related admissions, and to save the NHS substantial sums of money.
The Farming on Prescription Project is an exciting partnership between NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney, Norfolk and Waveney Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust and Clinks Care Farm Limited. It is a working farm where people with mental health issues and learning disabilities can volunteer their help to work on the land, harvesting vegetables and growing crops as well as with animals and their ongoing care. The overall aim is for the volunteers to help build their confidence and develop new skills as part of their ongoing treatment.
Clinks Care Farm, run by Iris and Doeke Dobma, in Toft Monks, currently offers a handful of places to people with mental health issues, but with the funding gained the project will be supported for a year and enable clinicians, including GPs, to refer people to the project.
Sari Kelsey, Recovery services manager at Norfolk and Waveney Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust said:
“We are exited by the opportunity the innovation funding has provided to enable clinks care farm to continue to provide people with the chance to develop not only specific horticultural and farming skills, but also to regain the skills of self-esteem through achievement, wellbeing through physical work and the routines required to feel able to take part in a work environment again’.
Kim Arber, Mental Health & Learning Disabilities Commissioning Manager for NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney, said:
“This year long project will provide individuals of all ages who have mental health problems to be referred to the farm for up to 12 weeks and supported in an appropriate environment to be involved in a range of rural and farming opportunities. There are rural challenges in supporting individuals’
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Norfolk and Waveney Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust provides a range of specialist services that are dedicated to the care and recovery of anyone experiencing mental ill health or substance misuse issues across Norfolk and north Suffolk.