I am a fourth-year medical student at the University of Southampton. In my third year, I intercalated and gained a First-Class Masters in Medical Science. During this year, we studied a range of biochemistry modules as well as completing a dissertation. After completing this dissertation and working closely with the Alcohol Care Team, I aim to pursue a career in Psychiatry, and potentially specialize in Addiction Psychiatry. After graduating, I would like to apply to the Academic Foundation Programme for my foundation years, as I would like research to be an integral part of my career.
A service evaluation of the Alcohol Care Team at University Hospital Southampton
Background: Harms associated with higher-risk alcohol consumption is a growing problem for hospitals in the UK that needs to be managed. Alcohol Care Teams (ACT) assess and manage patients presenting to the hospital with alcohol-related harm. There is limited literature surrounding the effectiveness of ACTs and whether they are effective in helping patients reduce their alcohol intake.
Aims: Define the patient demographics of patients seen by the ACT at University Hospital Southampton (UHS) and describe their journey through the hospital. Review patients’ level of alcohol consumption one and three-months after discharge, and explore patient experiences with the ACT.
Methods: At baseline, standard clinical data was collected through the ACT nurses usual proforma and medical notes. One and three-months after patient discharge, semi-structured telephone interviews were conducted with the patients to find out about their current alcohol consumption and experiences with the ACT.
Results: The typical patient referred to the ACT at UHS was a white British male, with a mean age of 56 years, who met criteria for dependence on alcohol. Patients stayed in the hospital for a median of 6 days, and were seen, on average, twice by the ACT. One-month after discharge, patients showed a statistically significant (p=0.000) decrease in alcohol consumption.
Conclusions: As patient demographics and natural history is better understood, alcohol interventions in Southampton can better serve this patient group. These results strongly suggest that ACTs are effective in helping patients reduce their alcohol consumption, however more research is required to determine causation.