A United Kingdom guidance document has been released to support the delivery of clinical directed enhanced services, alcohol being one of the five key health and service priorities.
The DES allows specific funding for GP’s to deliver Screening and Brief Interventions (SBIs) to newly registered patients. The DES’s began in April 2008 and are scheduled to run for 2 years backed by UK£50 million funding proposed earlier in the year, with an annual UK£8 million alcohol allocation.
According to the guidance, practices are required to screen newly registered patients using a shortened screening tool such as FAST. Those identified as positive will be given the full AUDIT test to determine if they are drinking at hazardous or harmful levels, and then offered the recommended intervention of 5 minutes brief advice in line with University of Newcastle’s primary care guidance ‘How Much is too much?’.
Dependant drinkers should be referred to local treatment services.
Full story at Alcohol Policy UK.