Looking beyond the literature to identify and develop promising approaches to reducing alcohol related harm

First published: 10/05/2019 | Last updated: May 20th, 2019

Looking beyond the literature to identify and develop promising approaches to reducing alcohol related harm


This paper is based on research that aimed to identify promising approaches to reducing alcohol related harm at local level. This study was underpinned by the recognition that the voices of practitioners are often marginalised in the debates about ‘what works’ and it set out to include their views. Three key sources were considered: published international research literature; UK grey literature and the knowledge of practitioners. A scoping exercise was conducted with key informants (e.g. alcohol leads, co-ordinators) working in the alcohol field across the UK and information about initiatives that they thought showed promise or innovation was collected and analysed. The findings highlighted the value of different types of evidence in both identifying and developing approaches to reduce alcohol related harm. The example of a project working with ‘frequent flyers’ (individuals with the highest rates of alcohol related hospital admissions) to reduce admissions will be used to illustrate the development of an innovative approach from its beginnings as a pilot project in 2010 through to becoming a mainstream service and adoption by other areas. The research was supported by Alcohol Research UK and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.


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Looking beyond the literature to identify and develop promising approaches to reducing alcohol related harm

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Dr Mariana Bayley