People who are physically dependant on alcohol often have other health problems and use general hospital services. Alcohol detoxification is provided as part of specialist alcohol services in hospitals. People often relapse after detoxification leading to further health problems and admissions. It is important to understand how best to support people who wish to recover from dependence after detoxification.
The Alcohol Specialist Nurse Service at the QA Hospital in Portsmouth offers two different ways to support recovery from dependence after detoxification. Portsmouth residents are followed up as hospital outpatients for 12 months while other Hampshire patients are referred on to their local community alcohol service. Our study will compare these two pathways.
It is anticipated that this study will help to understand the service utilisation of the patients following the two pathways. If there are differences between the outcomes (such as re-admissions and deaths) for the two pathways this will be useful to inform future service planning.
Semi-structure interviews will aim to understand what supports or hinders positive change. This information could be particularly helpful to service providers.