New research suggests that the NHS could save up to £27m per year in England alone, simply by changing the way it deals with alcoholic patients. A spokesperson for Triage Healthcare provides a comment.
The BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme recently looked into the way the NHS deals with patients suffering from alcohol abuse. The research shown in the programme revealed that due to the way the NHS operates, alcohol abuse costs the NHS £3.8bn per year. Because patients are often treated for their immediate symptoms without addressing the underlying cause, patients are often released instead of being admitted into rehabilitation, leading to relapse and future readmission for the same problems. At present, one in three A&E admissions in the UK are alcohol related. At the weekend this figure rises significantly, where up to 70 per cent of medical emergencies are alcohol related.
The Radar ward at the Chapman Barker unit of Greater Manchester West is currently running a programme to tackle alcohol abuse in Manchester. The ward takes patients directly from 11 A&E departments across the area, and has highlighted the problems which the NHS faces when dealing with alcohol abuse. The lead consultant at the unit, Dr Chris Daly, is well known at Triage Healthcare as one of Director David Goodlad’s peers. Dr Daly was initially surprised by the number of patients who had never seen rehabilitation services. "We were very surprised that a significant proportion, maybe as much as 50% of the patients [that we see], were not open to any services and some of them had never been seen by alcohol services before, so it's almost as if we're dealing with a different sort of population," he told the BBC. “These are people who are maybe only using their A&E department as their main source of treatment for their alcohol problems.”
75 cent of rehabilitated patients are not readmitted to hospital for the next three months. By contrast, patients who try to tackle detox and withdrawal alone don’t fare as well. Approximately 50 per cent of alcohol-dependent patients develop clinical symptoms during withdrawal, including fits, seizures and hallucinations. An independent analysis of the Radar unit’s results was published in April 2015 by academics at Liverpool John Moores University. The analysis found that by treating patients with rehabilitation instead of just their immediate symptoms, the hospital could save the NHS £1.3m per year. If this approach was adopted nationwide, it would save the NHS £27.5m per year in England alone.
The results of this analysis come as little surprise to Dry Out Now, operator of rehabilitation centres across the UK and a division of Triage Healthcare. Dry Out Now offers free advice and consultations to people seeking help for alcohol addiction. The notion of treating the underlying addiction as opposed to just the immediate symptoms fits Dry Out Now’s ethos as a provider of medical and counselling expertise. As a result, Dry Out Now not only operates private rehabilitation centres but helps people find rehabilitation centres funded by the NHS. A spokesperson for the company provided a comment, saying “We’re glad to see the BBC highlighting the problems the NHS faces with patient relapse and alcohol abuse. The results seen in the program show the clear advantage which can be gained by seeking help for alcohol-related problems.”
Dry Out Now, a division of Triage Healthcare, works with detox and rehabilitation centres across the mainland UK. Triage Healthcare was formed in 2005 to provide free and confidential advice to individuals, friends and families seeking treatment for alcohol addiction. Triage Healthcare is available for free consultations, online resources and advice from qualified medical and counselling personnel, seven days a week. Triage Healthcare is FDAP and SASSI accredited, and is regulated and approved by the CQC and UK Government.
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