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Health Matters: Your alcohol treatment services toolkit

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We hope that through the breadth of ‘Health Matters - Harmful drinking and alcohol dependence’ content, we have made the case for investing in effective alcohol treatment services, but a question may remain; what tools and resources are available to support professionals in making a local impact?

Local Alcohol Profiles
Use PHE’s Local Alcohol Profiles for England to see the extent of alcohol use, alcohol-related harm, hospital admissions and treatment in your local area. The aim of the profiles is to provide information for local government, health organisations, commissioners and other agencies to monitor the impact of alcohol on local communities, and to monitor the services and initiatives that have been put in place to prevent and reduce the harmful impact of alcohol.

Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) support packs
The packs provide local data on alcohol harm and alcohol treatment as well as a series of prompts to support joint planning and commissioning. The prompts include sections on commissioning both hospital services and community alcohol treatment services.


NICE guidance: Alcohol-use disorders
Treatment services should be informed by, and in line with, national guidance on alcohol use disorders from NICE. The clinical guideline offers evidence-based advice on the diagnosis, assessment and management of harmful drinking and alcohol dependence in adults and in young people aged 10–17 years.

Social return on investment (SROI)
Take a look at this briefing which helps local authorities make informed decisions about how to spend their money effectively on services that improve lives, opportunities, health and wellbeing.

This briefing is intended to complement future Public Health England’s (PHE) alcohol and drugs SROI tools (to be launched in 2016) describing what SROI evaluations are and why they are useful and important, explaining the necessary stages to carrying out an SROI evaluation, referring commissioners to resources available to support them and providing a glossary of common economic terms/concepts used in SROI.

Quality governance guidance
Local authorities are required to have effective quality governance arrangements in place for services that are commissioned using the public health grant. PHE has published guidance to support local authority commissioners of alcohol and drug services.

National Drug Treatment Monitoring System
Commissioners are provided with access to restricted data reported to the National Drug Treatment Monitoring System (NDTMS) to assist with planning and service improvement. A collection of reports are available on a monthly, quarterly and annual basis, providing detailed information on clients in structured alcohol and drug treatment from the NDTMS.

Working with change resistant drinkers
Alcohol Concern’s national Blue Light Project is designed to develop alternative approaches and care pathways for treatment resistant drinkers who place a burden on public services. It is supported by PHE and a number of local authorities across the country.

Alcohol Learning Centre
The Alcohol Learning Centre provides a range of online resources and learning for commissioners, planners and practitioners working to reduce alcohol-related harm.

GBD Compare
GBD Compare is a recently launched online tool that for the first time enables you to rank the burden of disease for 306 conditions from 1990-2013 by region and deprivation, along with the relative impact of 79 different risk factors. As the tool is new we’ve published a detailed blog explaining its capability.

What data or tools do you use locally? Are there additional resources you’d find useful? We’d like to hear from you either by commenting below or emailing us at

Health Matters
Health Matters is a resource for professionals which brings together the latest data and evidence, makes the case for effective public health interventions and highlights tools and resources that can facilitate local or national action. Visit the Health Matters area of GOV.UK or sign up to receive the latest updates through our e-bulletin. If you found this blog helpful, please view other Health Matters blogs.

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