SW AHSN: Alcohol Pathways Hackathon: Reimagining responses to improve outcomes (invite only)

01/02/2017|Time: 09:30 - 16:00
Location: Exeter Racecourse, EX6 7XS
Organised by: South West Academic Health Science Network
Tel: 01392 247903
Email: events@swahsn.com

Event summary

South West AHSN are delighted to inform you about this one-day workshop, bringing together providers, commissioners, innovators and other experts to work together to create enhanced options for people affected by alcohol dependency.

This free event is hosted by NEW Devon CCG, Plymouth Hospitals Foundation Trust, Royal Devon & Exeter Foundation Trust, Plymouth and Devon Public Health Teams and the South West Academic Health Science Network, and supported by Plymouth University and Exeter CVS. The event will be facilitated by Innovation Unit, the innovation partner for public services.


Alcohol dependency has a significant impact on the health outcomes of our population and the finances of our health and care system. Alcohol misuse is the third biggest risk factor for illness and death, with 22,481 premature deaths annually in England attributed to alcohol. Estimates suggest that the annual cost to society of alcohol-related harm is £21billion (£3.5bn to the NHS).

We know we must do things differently. We understand the issues and needs of people affected by alcohol dependency, but as a system we are seeing increasing demand and therefore something needs to change. This Hackathon presents a rare opportunity for us to come together from a wide range of organisations, expertise and experiences to look at the future in the context of these findings.

The output from this event will then go on to influence strategic developments directly within alcohol pathways and on wider basis around commissioning for complex needs.


In December 2015 NEW Devon CCG secured £94,050 from the Commissioning Better Outcomes (Big Lottery) fund to carry out a feasibility study for the Outcomes Based Commissioning Demonstrator Alcohol Pathways project. The purpose of the feasibility study was to explore the development of an outcome-based commissioning approach to improve outcomes and reduce demand from alcohol dependent, high frequency users of the health and care system.

The study identified a target cohort of middle-aged, alcohol dependent, high-frequency users of the health and care system, that if the right response is put into place, has the potential to generate £1.8m cost saving in secondary care.

This was supported by a review of existing academic and grey literature focused on identifying existing evidence for improving outcomes and reducing use of the health and care system for the target population. The key findings from the rapid review were:

  1. There was no specific evidence that an existing “intervention” will improve the outcomes of the target cohort.
  2. The review identified the following key characteristics for an effective person-centred intervention model:
  • Intervention(s) are likely to be community or primary care-based, people don’t seek help from health professionals until they are chronically unwell.
  • Both group-based interventions and individualised interventions are likely to be required.
  • Focus on mind-set change such as increased self-awareness, increased self-efficacy and empowerment.
  • Difficulties with internal social factors such as employment status, self-esteem and stress, exacerbate mental health issues. Consequently, support systems should address both internal social factors and mental health.
  • Longer-term interventions are more effective. Efficacy often declines after three to six months.
  • Consideration should be given to building peer and family support mechanisms.
  • Indication that efficacy is affected by gender.

To find out more about this event, please email events@swahsn.com

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