© The Author(s) 2020. Medical Council on Alcohol and Oxford University Press. AIMS: We assessed the relationship between specialist and non-specialist admissions for alcohol withdrawal since the introduction of the UK government Health and Social Care Act in 2012. METHODS: Using publicly available national data sets from 2009 to 2019, we compared the number of alcohol withdrawal admissions and estimated costs in specialist and non-specialist treatment settings. RESULTS: A significant negative correlation providing strong evidence of an association was observed between the fall in specialist and rise in non-specialist admissions. Significant cost reductions within specialist services were displaced to non-specialist settings. CONCLUSIONS: The shift in demand from specialist to non-specialist alcohol admissions due to policy changes in England should be reversed by specialist workforce investment to improve outcomes. In the meantime, non-specialist services and staff must be resourced and equipped to meet the complex needs of these service users.
Phillips, T., Huang, C., Roberts, E., & Drummond, C. (2021). Specialist alcohol inpatient treatment admissions and non-specialist hospital admissions for alcohol withdrawal in England: an inverse relationship. Alcohol and Alcoholism, 56(1), 28-33. https://doi.org/10.1093/alcalc/agaa086