Public Health England is collaborating with the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland governments to produce the first UK-wide clinical guidelines for alcohol treatment.
There is currently no equivalent for alcohol to the UK drug misuse treatment guidelines (the ‘orange book’), which has been vital in establishing good practice for drug treatment. The proposed alcohol treatment guidelines will seek to fill this gap.
The main aim of the guidelines is to develop a clear consensus on good practice and help services to implement interventions for alcohol use disorders that are recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).
PHE plans convene a UK-wide expert group of senior clinicians, service users and professionals with specialist alcohol expertise who will oversee the development of the guidelines, which it intends to publish by the end of 2020.
The NHS Long Term Plan includes a commitment to improve the provision of hospital- based alcohol care teams, with some targeted funding for areas with the highest levels of need.
A recent inquiry by PHE into the fall in numbers of people in alcohol treatment found there is a need for more alcohol-related expertise among staff in substance misuse services.