NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Director of Public Health, Dr Linda de Caestecker, commenting in response to the report, said: "The growing levels of alcohol misuse amongst the young and very young are increasingly alarming.
"Combating alcohol misuse is already a top priority for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and over the next three years we plan even more targeted action along with our council and police partners with a particular focus on brief interventions in primary care and Accident and Emergency Departments."
Some of the key planks of activity we are rolling out includes:
· A three year Acute Service and Addiction Action Plan to train staff in screening and assessment for individuals with alcohol and drug problems. This includes working in conjunction with the child protection unit, social work, and addition services to draw up guidelines for Accident and Emergency Department staff when young children present under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
· Staff screening training during the next few months will look at issues including parental substance misuse, adolescent problematic drinking and substance misuse.
· A recent series of one hour guidance sessions on alcohol screening and withdrawal management, targeting A&E as well as other acute hospital departments, and 115 qualified nursing staff have been trained so far.
Other local projects include Inverclyde Royal Hospital’s alcohol liaison nurse operating a “call back” system, where A&E staff can contact Inverclyde Alcohol Service, with the agreement of patients, who can offer help and advice to individuals.
And a new joint working initiative was launched in February this year at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley, involving nursing and medical A&E staff, the alcohol liaison service, and the young person’s alcohol service.
Calls can be made by staff, with patient consent, to the alcohol liaison answer machine number with contact details for follow-up support.
Literature giving telephone numbers and websites of support groups are also available within all of our A&E departments.
For more information contact NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Communications on 0141 201 4429.