An innovative new addiction service is being developed to provide specialist support and advice to staff and patients within Glasgow's acute hospitals.
The new acute liaison addiction nurse service will also play an important part in the care and treatment of patients with serious alcohol or drug problems who are admitted to hospital.
Five of the 11 new nursing posts have already been filled and the remainingsix will be filled during December 2005 and January 2006.
The acute addiction liaison nurses will carry out initial assessments, provide treatment and work closely with local Community Addiction Teams to ensure patients continue to receive treatment and support after they are discharged from hospital.
In the past three years there have been significant developments in the delivery of addiction services within Glasgow and the next year will see those developments continue.
Gail Reid, Secondary Service Manager, Glasgow Addiction Service Partnership, said:"These new nursing roles are part of the new Addictions Service Partnership which brings together addiction services provided by NHS Greater Glasgow and Glasgow City Council.
"This new initiative with acute hospital staff provides a great opportunity to reach patients who may not have sought help for their addiction problems in the past
The £300,000 service development is part of wider plans to improve access to treatment and rehabilitation services across the city and increase the range of services available to patients and their families.
Sally Hughes, Clinical Nurse Manager, Glasgow Royal Infirmary, said: " I am delighted that this new service is being rolled out to hospitals across the city as it will provide a valuable source of support and advice to frontline staff and improve the care and treatment of patients with drug and alcohol problems."
Between 1997 and 2001 there was an 11.4% increase in patients leaving Greater Glasgow hospitals with a recorded problem related to alcohol from 7,308 to 8,134.
Between 2003 and 2004, there were 8,338 (provisional) non-psychiatric discharges from NHS Greater Glasgow hospitals where admission was attributed to alcohol i.e. harmful use, acute intoxication and alcohol dependence as an underlying or contributing cause. This is 23% of all Scottish alcohol related admissions in the same year.
Of 2,459 deaths attributed to alcohol between 1996 and 2001 in NHS Greater Glasgow, 2,062 were residents of Glasgow City. In 2003 alone there were 423 alcohol related deaths of Glasgow City residents
There are clear links between the prevalence of drug misuse and deprivation and homelessness. People who live in the most disadvantaged parts of Greater Glasgow are more than 30 times likely to be admitted to hospital for drug misuse emergencies than those in the most affluent areas.This increases to more than 200 times higher in the worst affected areas than the least.
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