This case study is the evaluation of a pilot service for a GP Alcohol Liaison Nurse. The service was evaluated through its second year, and the evaluation findings were used to inform whether the service was to be fully commissioned following completion of the pilot phase.
The GP Alcohol Liaison Nurse role was first trialled following NICE guidance in 2011 which stated that local commissioners should commission services that opportunistically carry out screening and brief interventions for hazardous and harmful drinking as an integral part of practice, and develop commissioning frameworks that regularly review this practice to review its effectiveness.
Based on this evidence, a local Drug and Alcohol Action Team piloted a GP Alcohol Liaison Nurse in May 2013. The nurse provided alcohol interventions for problematic/dependent alcohol service users across three GP surgeries. The Joint Commissioning Group extended the pilot in April 2014 and a one-year evaluation was set up involving local stakeholders.
There was a need for an evaluation to establish the benefits of this role for service users as well as for practice staff, including the impact on service users such as referrals to specialist services and impact of brief interventions delivered in partnership with the GP. This would help inform decisions about further commissioning of services.
The aims of the evaluation included:
A range of methods were employed to gather data for the evaluation including:
A report was compiled in July 2015 to summarise and share the findings with stakeholders. This included a detailed account of the data gathered and analysed and made a number of recommendations for the Joint Commissioning Group to consider.