‘Drunk tanks’

 The NHS England Chief Executive has announced that the NHS will decide in the coming year whether ’drunk tanks’ should routinely be used to take pressure off A&E departments and 999 ambulance services.  Supervised areas where revellers who have over-indulged can be checked, rather than being taken to A&E, are already used in some areas such as Newcastle, Bristol, Manchester and Cardiff.

Substance misuse services

This briefing looks at the quality and safety of clinics offering residential services for people withdrawing from drugs or alcohol | Care Quality Commission (CQC)


The Care Quality Commission has published Substance misuse services: the quality and safety of residential detoxification. This briefing examines the quality and safety of clinics offering residential services for people withdrawing from drugs or alcohol.  It outlines concerns identified during CQC inspections and gives an example of good practice, as well as actions and recommendations.

The briefing reported a number of concerns. Many of the clinics were not:

  • assessing the risks to the safety of people prior to their admission following recognised national clinical guidance on treating people who are withdrawing from alcohol or drugs
  • storing, dispensing and handling medicines
  • appropriately carrying out full employment checks or sufficiently training their staff

The CQC also found that nearly three in four providers failed in at least one of the fundamental standards of care that everyone has the right to expect, whilst almost two-thirds of providers were not meeting the requirement for providing safe care and treatment.

Full briefing: Substance misuse services: the quality and safety of residential detoxification


UK has 6th highest rate of obesity – OECD

Health at a Glance 2017: OECD Indicators | Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development | OnMedica

A report from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has found that the UK has the sixth highest rate of adult obesity. The report looks at health indicators across its 100 member countries.


It shows that almost 27% of the adult population of the UK is obese, compared with the OECD average of 19.4%. The UK has a smoking prevalence of 16.1%, which is below the OECD average of 18.4%.

However average alcohol consumption per UK adult is higher than the OECD average, with consumption averaging at 9.5 litres per adult. Although this is down from 10.4 litres in 2000, it is still above the OECD average, added to which harmful drinking among teens remains problematic. Nearly a third (30.5%) of 15-year-olds have been drunk at least twice in their life, compared with the OECD average of 22%.

Many quality of care indicators are close to or just below the OECD average, but avoidable hospital admissions are high, says the report.

Full document: Health at a glance 2017 – OECD indicators.

How alcohol and drug treatment helps to reduce crime

Report re-affirms how important drug treatment is in cutting crime, as well as preventing alcohol and drug-related deaths and helping people recover from dependence. | Ministry of Justice | Public Health England


In England, almost 300,000 adults get help for drug and alcohol dependency each year. Most people receiving drug treatment are addicted to heroin or crack cocaine, or both, and many commit crimes to fund their addiction.

New analysis published last week by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has added to the evidence of how alcohol and drug treatment can help to prevent crime.

The analysis revealed that:

  • In 2012, nearly 133,000 people started treatment for drugs and alcohol, 35% of which had a criminal conviction recorded against them in the two years previous
  • Overall 44% of people in treatment hadn’t offended again two years after starting treatment
  • The number of recorded offences by people in treatment fell by a third over the two years, from 129,000 to 86,500
  • People who had been in prison before starting treatment, and those who dropped out and came back to treatment, were more likely to reoffend
  • People who successfully completed their treatment, or were still in treatment at the end of the two years, were less likely to reoffend

Full story at Public Health England

Full report: The impact of community-based drug and alcohol treatment on re-offending

The Role of Nurses in Alcohol and Drug Treatment Services

Guidance for commissioners, providers and clinicians on the roles of nurses in alcohol and drug treatment in England. | Public Health England

This resource describes the many potential roles of nurses in alcohol and drug treatment in England to help commissioners and providers of specialist adult alcohol and drug treatment services to recruit the right workforce to meet local needs.

The document outlines:

  • The roles of nurses working in alcohol and drug treatment including the contribution they can make to health and social care outcomes
  • The added value nurses can bring to alcohol and drug treatment
  • The competences and skills that should be expected of nurses working in alcohol and drug treatment
  • What is required to develop and maintain these competences

Full document: The Role of Nurses in Alcohol and Drug Treatment Services:  A resource for commissioners, providers and clinicians