Setting up an alcohol treatment centre
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Setting up an alcohol treatment centre

James Brewster-Liddle Senior charge nurse and senior emergency practitioner, Emergency unit at University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff
Wayne Parsons Senior nurse, Emergency unit at University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff
Simon Moore Professor in Cardiff University Violence and Society Research Group, University Dental Hospital, Cardiff

James Brewster-Liddle and colleagues have reduced the number of intoxicated people who attend their emergency unit

In the emergency unit at University Hospital of Wales (UHW), Cardiff, a rise in the number of patients presenting with alcohol intoxication was reducing the amount of clinical space available to, and affecting the care of, other patients. In response, an alcohol treatment centre (ATC) staffed by emergency nurse practitioners, healthcare assistants and police officers was set up and piloted for three months in the city centre to ensure that people who were severely intoxicated could be managed safely without attending the emergency unit at UHW. This article describes the collaborative approach adopted to launch the three-month pilot project and discusses findings from a review of the ATC conducted when the pilot had ended. These findings indicate that severely intoxicated patients at low or moderate risk had been diverted from the emergency unit to the ATC and that clinical care in the unit, and police and ambulance services, had improved as a result.

Emergency Nurse. 21, 6, 14-18. doi: 10.7748/en2013.


Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 27 March 2013

Accepted: 29 July 2013

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