South Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay has presented QEQM Hospital’s Alcohol and Substance Misuse Team with a ‘Care and Compassion’ certificate to mark the 70th birthday of the NHS.
The MP says the team, under lead nurse, Julie Blake, provide an outstanding seven-days-a-week service.
The NHS70 Parliamentary Awards, sponsored by IBM, were set up to recognise the massive contribution made by the individuals who work in, and alongside, the NHS.
MPs in England were called on to put forward outstanding nominees who have innovated, impressed and made a real difference to how local health and care services provide care for patients.
Established in 2014 in Margate, a two-year alcohol and substance misuse pilot study was originally invested in by Kent County Council and based on national and Thanet-specific alcohol abuse data.
Since then, the local authority funding has ended, but the work of Julie and colleagues continues.
Sometimes the intervention may be basic, but it can end up saving a person’s life. Patients who have Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome (an alcohol-associated neurological disease) may need immediate help with vitamin B1 being administered.
For those whose condition is indicative of alcohol misuse an Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) is carried out. This is a screening tool (developed by the World Health Organisation) to assess alcohol consumption, drinking behaviour and alcohol-related problems.
In 2017 (up to November) Julie and her colleagues saw more than 758 patients and, of these, more than 100 were referred to the community alcohol and drug services locally.
Lead nurse, Julie Blake said: “I’m really grateful to have the team nominated for a national award and to be recognised for the work we are doing for our diverse patient group.
“I am also delighted the MP has taken the time to make this presentation.”
Mr Mackinlay said: “Everyone in my South Thanet constituency is rightly proud of our local NHS and care services, and so I was delighted to recognise the care and compassion of QEQM’s Alcohol and Substance Misuse Team as part of the NHS70 Parliamentary Awards.
“Under the Leadership of Julie Blake, the team sees patients admitted to hospital where it is suspected that drug or alcohol misuse is the underlying reason for their admission.
“This outstanding service is provided seven-days-a-week and the team is incredibly proactive in getting to know the patients and the causes of their addictions and misuse.
“Thanet suffers from a statistically higher level of substance misuse than the UK average, and the nurses can see up to 12 patients a day – shockingly from the age of just 13 years, all the way up to 90.
“The Alcohol and Substance Misuse Team are a real asset to our local area.”
Bradstowe ward councillor David Parsons added:”I am delighted that the remarkable efforts of the Alcohol and Substance Misuse Team at the QEQM has been recognised in this way.
“The service these specialist nurses provide along with the care and professionalism they demonstrate is of an exceptionally high standard.
“Many congratulations to Julie Blake and her brilliant team.”
More information about the NHS70 Parliamentary Awards can be found at www.nhs70.nhs.uk