General practitioners in England and Wales have been asked detailed questions about their patients’ drinking habits amid concerns that thousands of people with alcohol problems are ‘slipping the net’.
More than 10 million people consume levels of alcohol that are dangerous to their health, according to experts. While millions of people are mild or moderate alcoholics, approximately 600,000 are severe alcoholics and would greatly benefit from professional alcohol treatment as a result.
However, only 1 in 6 of the population who could benefit from alcohol treatment actually consumes alcohol.
The National Institutes of Health and Medical Research (Nice), a medical watchdog, has asked family doctors and health workers, social care, volunteer sector, and criminal justice professionals to help ensure that people’s drinking habits are properly documented. Created guidance.
The move is aimed at ensuring support is available for everyone who needs it. Thousands of people miss help, support, or referrals to professional services to curb problem drinking, Nice said.
Proper and detailed recording of information also means patients are not repeatedly asked about their drinking habits, added Nice.
“Many of us are asked about alcohol use when interacting with health services, but if proper questionnaires are not used, people with alcohol problems can slip through the net and get the support they need. may not be available,” said Dr. Paul.
“We know that many people who are dependent on alcohol are not receiving treatment, and there could be many reasons for this, but it is part of a health and care system that continuously learns from data. As such, we will use a validated questionnaire to provide the Commissioner with the information necessary to organize the appropriate services.”
A 2018 survey of GP records of 1.8 million adults across the UK found that half had no information on their alcohol consumption data. Less than 1 in 10 he had screening test scores.
Health professionals should use validated questionnaires to ensure that information about how much and how often they drink is properly recorded.
Nice has also asked Social Care Services, Criminal Justice, Community Services, and Volunteer Services to ensure systems use validated alcohol questionnaires when asking people about their alcohol use.
Dr Richard Piper, chief executive of the Alcohol Change UK charity, said the new guidance would be widely welcomed.
“Approximately 600,000 people have severe alcohol dependence and would greatly benefit from professional alcohol treatment as a result.
“Professional alcohol treatment is commissioned by local authorities across England and is provided free of charge to all who need it. And it works. But there is now a big problem: Only about one in six people who could benefit from alcohol treatment actually started it.
A draft quality standard containing five statements on the diagnosis and management of alcohol use disorders has been submitted for consultation until February 28.