Have a Word
10 January 2013
An innovative campaign to cut the growing tide of binge drinking and alcohol related injuries and illnesses in Wales was today launched by Cardiff University. With a steady increase in alcohol-related hospital admissions over the past 10 years, the 'Have a Word' campaign will deliver a sustainable alcohol brief intervention programme nationally.
Attending the launch event in Cardiff's Temple of Peace were Lesley Griffiths AM, Minister for Health and Social Services, and Professor Jonathan Shepherd CBE of Cardiff University. His award-winning research has informed the development of the programme. The initiative was developed in partnership with the Welsh Government and Public Health Wales and is set to be rolled out across the NHS in Wales.
Trials conducted by the Violence Research Group at Cardiff University demonstrated that opportunistic brief interventions carried out by nurses (see video) were highly effective. The results showed significant long-term reductions in drinking for 1 in 4 people who had previously consumed alcohol at hazardous levels. The 'Have a Word' training enables nurses to screen patients for alcohol misuse and to deliver brief interventions for those patients identified as drinking at hazardous levels.
Professor Jonathan Shepherd, Director of the Violence and Society Research Group and Professor of Oral and Maxillofacial surgery at Cardiff University's School of Dentistry, said: "A brief intervention is a structured conversation between the patient and the nurse, known to motivate the patient to change their drinking behaviour. The aims are to prompt the patient to recognise the harm which their drinking has caused, especially the wound being treated; to review their drinking; to set themselves drinking limits and to make and act on decisions to reduce their hazardous drinking."
Lesley Griffiths AM, Minister for Health and Social Services, added: "Every week in Wales, 1,200 hospital admissions are attributed to alcohol. We know the cost to the NHS in Wales and the cost to people's health is enormous. I am delighted to launch this campaign."