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Province’s first ‘liaison nurse’ for alcohol misuse patients in place at Craigavon

The Southern Health and Social Care Trust has appointed an Alcohol Liaison Nurse to support patients with alcohol misuse problems as part of the Big Lottery funded Impact of Alcohol Portfolio for the area.

Andrea Judge is advising staff at Craigavon Area Hospital in identifying and caring for patients with alcohol related issues and ensuring that those patients and their families get the specialist support they need.

The post, which is funded for three years, is the first of its kind in Northern Ireland to support general hospital staff in dealing specifically with alcohol related issues as Kieran Devlin, Southern Trust Impact of Alcohol Portfolio Manager explains: “Increased alcohol consumption has led to a year on year increase in alcohol related hospital admissions in Northern Ireland, costing the health service millions of pounds and having a major impact on public health.

“We hope that through this post that we will be able to offer more direct and specialised support to help patients in tackling the physical and mental effects of alcohol misuse and will be interested to see if the service has an impact on the number of alcohol related hospital admissions.”

The Alcohol Liaison Nurse is one of eight Impact of Alcohol projects across Southern Trust acute and community services.

Andrea will be working with acute services staff, addiction services staff and fast tracking patients to appropriate community services to address the patients’ lifestyle and behaviour and hopefully prevent future alcohol related hospital readmissions.

Photograph: Andrea Judge newly appointed Impact of Alcohol Liaison Nurse with her colleague John McGarvey.

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