On 27th January, representatives from the Collaborative, Champs Support Team and Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (LUFT) led a session with Cobalt Housing staff members to raise awareness of the Collaborative’s Reduction of Harm from Alcohol programme.
An awareness session for Cobalt Housing, a Liverpool-based housing association which manages and maintains around 6,000 homes was led by Mandy Smith, Lead Alcohol Specialist Nurse, Royal Liverpool Hospital (LUFT) and Dr Paul Richardson, Consultant Hepatologist (and Honorary Associate Clinical Professor) Royal Liverpool Hospital (LUFT), and co-lead for the Collaborative’s Reduction of Harm from Alcohol programme.
An Alcohol Identification and Brief Advice session was then held for staff followed by quick and non-invasive liver scans.
A total of 33 staff took up the offer of the liver scan on the day, with these being performed by a specialist liver nurse, to provide advice, guidance, and onward referral if required.
Claire Griffiths, CEO, Cobalt Housing, said:
“I found it a really powerful and important 10 minutes, it can really guide you to look at some lifestyle changes that could have a huge impact on the quality of your life now and in the future, I would highly recommend the check, its painless and the staff doing it are brilliant.”
Margaret Jones, Lead Director of Public Health for Alcohol Harm, said:
“It’s vital that we continue to raise awareness of the Collaborative’s Reduction of Harm from Alcohol programme including liver scanning.
“One in five adults in our subregion may be walking around with liver disease and be completely unaware, as there are usually no symptoms in the early stages. Fortunately, around 90 per cent of liver disease cases are preventable, with the main causes being alcohol, obesity and viral hepatitis.
“The Collaborative has a workstream piloting scans in new settings and intends to reach out further, targeting areas of high inequalities and corresponding alcohol harms, and in doing so promote earlier detection and intervention, leading to better outcomes for patients.”
Other staff feedback from the day included:
“It’s certainly made me sit up and reflect on my current lifestyle. Not that I drink a lot of alcohol, but I’ve subsequently cut down and have further impending lifestyle changes on the horizon.”
“The team were really friendly and informative and put me at ease – a bit strange being scanned in the meeting room but they made it all really comfortable. The information leaflet and card was handy too if we did want to look at any further information. No lifestyle changes as such for me though as I had a good score but I am making healthier choices in terms of what I eat now.”
“I found the fibro scan really interesting the team were very informative and provided lots of information about the liver function what causes damage and how to look after your liver the procedure was painless, they informed me my liver was normal but advised to lose a little weight which I’m trying to do by taking longer walks with the dog and watching what I’m eating and drinking I would recommend to anyone interested.”
“I was really impressed with the whole process and how informative the team were and I have already started to make the changes I feel necessary to improve my health and general wellbeing.”
“I found it really useful, not at all scary and really well handled by the people administering it. I wouldn’t say I’ve made any lifestyle changes, but I did read the information provided and found it really useful.”
“I found it to be more informative than I was expecting from an information point of view. As my scan was all OK I’ve not made any lifestyle changes but I do think more about what I’m eating and drinking.”
“I found it very interesting, and good to know about your liver as it is a vital organ. Would recommend. I am eating fewer fatty foods and more fresh food and homemade meals. The kids and I have been enjoying meal planning and knowing what we are eating rather than rushed frozen food. I am walking dog longer now the nights are lighter. So not huge changes but good changes.”
For more information, please contact Ravi Menghani, Reduction of Harm From Alcohol Programme Lead via firstname.lastname@example.org