How we’re helping the NHS use data and research to deliver effective alcohol-related care.
According to NHS data, over 1.1 million hospital admissions each year are alcohol-related. Of these, around 100,000 admissions are for conditions that directly indicate alcohol dependence.
As part of a long-term plan to deliver a nationwide alcohol treatment system, NHS England & NHS Improvement and Public Health England set up Alcohol Care Teams (ACTs) to provide specialist expertise and interventions.
To meet national requirements and offer the best possible service locally, the Healthier Pennine Lancashire Integrated Care Partnership needed data and research to understand the impact of their new Alcohol Care Team (ACT). They came to us for help.
- Strategic consultancy
- Quantitative research and analysis
- Qualitative research and analysis
Why PS Research?
The Healthier Pennine Lancashire Integrated Care Partnership approached us for this project on the back of our previous work evaluating the NHS Volunteer Responders scheme across Lancashire and South Cumbria.
This meant they weren’t taking a punt. We have public sector experience. We’re familiar with how public services differ from the private sector. We understand the lingo, agendas and different approaches. We’re also local. We get the local context, what the population health is like and the challenges people face in the area.
Because of this, we were able to get up to speed quickly, working as part of their team to develop their thinking and help set up systems for gathering and using data effectively long after we’ve gone.
The ACT is an essential service helping local people. We’re happy to be playing a part in it making a difference.
Working with, not for
The Pennine Lancashire ACT is a part of the NHS Long Term Plan for treating intoxication or alcohol-related complications in hospital settings. It's an ongoing service with ever-changing needs based on research and data.
In other words, it’s not a one and done here’s-the-brief-do-the-work kind of project.
For the NHS to get the most from our skills, it was important to work with them as an extension of the team, not for them as a third party.
We sometimes call this strategic consultancy. In real-world terms, it means the ACT always has someone at the end of the phone, present at meetings and Teams calls, and working hands-on with a group.
Being embedded in the project means we’re able to gain a deeper knowledge of the project to shape ideas and deliver the right approach.
It’s one of the advantages of being a small company: you only ever deal with the people doing the work.
Who needs help?
For the ACT to communicate its service internally, it needs to show the problem it was set up to help with.
To set a baseline to inform early discussions between partners and the team, we conducted some population health analysis to answer key questions:
- What is the demographic make-up of local residents?
- What are their lives like?
- What is their health like?
- What specifically do we know about alcohol use in Pennine Lancashire?
Building a picture of the local community highlighted the importance of the service, making it easier for the team to get stakeholder support.