Gateshead team lead promotion of new staff alcohol support service

The North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System (NENC ICS) has launched a new alcohol support service in association with DrinkCoach. Gateshead Health, along with all other health and social care staff throughout the region can now access the support. Gateshead’s Alcohol Care Team have helped lead promotion of the service, with the team acting as the faces of the campaign.

Alcohol support offering for staff
Alcohol support offering for staff

The introduction of DrinkCoach enables all staff to access a completely confidential and simple-to-use platform, and makes use of the DrinkCoach Two Minute Test to evaluate and help you better understand your drinking and the associated risks. Colleagues who take the test will also be assisted in accessing further support wherever needed.

DrinkCoach users can track the units, cost and calories of their drinking; create personalised plans to better manage intake and receive signposting to local support services. Those who are identified as being at risk through the two-minute test will be able to access an online session with a DrinkCoach, and will be assisted with accessing suitable support. Amongst the support available is free access to a confidential 1:1 online coaching programme with qualified alcohol treatment specialists.

Sarah Hulse, Alcohol Strategic Manager for the NENC ICS, said: “We hope that by providing this service, colleagues can access the support they need at an early stage. The service is there for anyone working in health or social care who drinks alcohol, whether you’re simply looking to cut down or whether you are drinking at a level where you may need more support.

“We know that our region is disproportionately impacted by alcohol, which has been made worse by the pandemic, and many of our staff are at higher risk than they might realise.

“DrinkCoach provides a quick, easy and confidential platform for us all to increase our understanding of our drinking, make steps towards lower-risk intake, and access specialist support where it is needed.”

To begin your DrinkCoach journey, please take the two-minute alcohol test. Those with further queries about the service can contact Sarah directly via sarah.hulse1@nhs.net.