Award for USW collaboration to improve the care of patients adversely affected by alcohol

Dr Darren Quelch, Addictions Research Group, at the NICHR Award Ceremony 2023

Dr Darren Quelch, second from left, with SWB ACT

Experts from the University of South Wales' (USW) Addiction Research Group have won the Collaboration in Research category at the annual NIHR West Midlands Clinical Research Network Awards, recognising their work in promoting awareness of alcohol-related brain damage (ARBD) and the vital role of Alcohol Care Teams (ACT) in the care of those with alcohol-related health problems.

USW and the ACT at Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust (SWB) collaborated on the evaluation of the innovative model of care implemented by the ACT at the Trust.

The evaluation found that the Team has prevented numerous unplanned admissions for individuals presenting with alcohol withdrawal, leading to improved service provision and cost savings to the Trust.

The collaboration has also led to the implementation of several recommendations contained within the Welsh Government’s Substance Misuse Treatment Framework for ARBD, co-authored by the Addictions Research Group, such as an online educational programme which will lead to improved awareness of ARBD, a significantly under-recognised condition, among SWB staff.

USW’s Dr Darren Quelch (pictured second from left) said: “This award recognises the importance that collaborative working can have on both the production of high-quality academic research, but also evidence-based healthcare and patient improvement strategies. We are early in our partnership and are optimistic about continuing to strive towards improving health-out comes in this at-risk population.”

Arlene Copland, Lead ACT Nurse at SWB said: “By working with the Addictions Research Group we will improve care for our patients who present with ARBD. We know that if a person stops drinking, remains alcohol free and receives good support they may be able to make a partial or even full recovery.”

The Addictions Research Group produce world class research that has consistent impact at an international level across the Addictions spectrum (prevention and early intervention; diagnosis and treatment development; identifying and preventing relapse).

You can read more about the partnership here

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