Training opportunities to help reduce harm from alcohol

Each month, the Collaborative will be highlighting workforce development opportunities on key population health themes as part of our workforce development programme. This month we look at training opportunities for alcohol harm reduction.

Alcohol harm reduction is a priority for the Cheshire and Merseyside Health and Care Partnership, each Health and Wellbeing Board in Cheshire and Merseyside, and the NHS Long Term Plan.

NICE guidelines recommend that health and social care, criminal justice and community, and voluntary sector professionals should routinely carry out alcohol risk identification and deliver brief advice as an integral part of practice.

If you work in health and care and want to learn more about how you can help people reduce their drinking then log on to Health Education England’s (HEE) e-Learning for Health. This online learning resource offers a huge range of medical and public health interventions. You will need to register to use the portal.

Here are the relevant HEE e-learning courses for alcohol harm reduction:

  • All Our Health: Alcohol includes evidence, data and signposting to trusted resources to help prevent illness, protect health and promote wellbeing.
  • An introduction to treating and preventing ill health by risky behaviours – tobacco and alcohol.
  • Introducing Intervention and Brief Advice (IBA) and identifying risky drinking – Alcohol identification and brief advice.
  • Practising IBA and delivering brief advice: Learn how to identify patients’ levels of health risk from alcohol and how to intervene appropriately with those who could benefit from cutting down their alcohol consumption. Widespread use of IBA is recognised as a contributor to Making Every Contact Count (MECC) and is a feature in the NHS Health Check, CQUIN programmes and efficiency savings programmes. Courses available include delivering alcohol IBA in primary care, community pharmacy, hospitals and dental teams Alcohol-use disorders: prevention.
  • Alcohol Dependence (Population health wellbeing portal) – professional capabilities 16: Demonstrates understanding of the principles of health promotion and illness prevention
  • Bringing it together: patients with multiple risk factors (Smoking & Alcohol) – the programme is intended to provide healthcare professionals with the minimum level of knowledge and skill needed to identify risk and provide brief advice to patients who smoke or, who are drinking at a level that could be harming them confidently and effectively. The programme supports objectives of the NHS Five Year Forward View, including the need for a “radical upgrade in prevention” and to be “incentivising and supporting healthier behaviour”. It also supports staff training to meet requirements of the Preventing Ill Health by Risky Behaviours – alcohol and tobacco CQUIN(2017/2019 Commissioning for Quality and Innovation).
  • Stories Behind the Bottle (Alcohol Stigma) – alcohol dependence is a chronic, relapsing illness like many other health conditions. Taking a moment to understand this may help to improve longer-term outcomes and reduce re-attendance. This e-learning programme will be of interest to all health, care, public health and NHS staff who come into contact with patients and service users – from receptionists to A&E clinicians, nurses, hospital consultants, junior doctors, hospital porters and beyond.
  • There is also a free introductory course run by the Open University.

If you would like more information, please contact Steve Peters, Programme Manager for Cheshire and Merseyside Population Health Workforce Development via