The Centre for Hepatology provides a service for individuals with alcohol-related problems, particularly those with alcohol-related liver injury. Patients are usually referred by their General Practitioner or via the Accident and Emergency Department or the Acute Medicine Services within the hospital; referrals from other hospitals and from local support organisations are also accepted.
Patients are initially assessed and their medical, psychological and social needs determined. Medically-assisted withdrawal from alcohol can be provided on an inpatient or outpatient basis, as indicated. A full range of services for the diagnosis and management of alcohol related liver injury is available. The achievement of long term abstinence from alcohol is maximised by the provision of appropriate pharmacotherapy and by use of psychosocial support, which is delivered either in-house or by onward referral to local agencies, as appropriate. An AA group specifically for patients meets every Sunday within the hospital.
Soon all patients who attend the hospital’s inpatient and outpatient departments will be screened for alcohol problems as part of a public health initiative. Individuals with concerns about their drinking will receive a brief intervention, if appropriate, or will be referred on to the alcohol liaison service.