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Alcohol Awareness programme at the Health Innovation Network


It is good practice for all workplaces to have a policy on alcohol and substance misuse. The Health Innovation Network’s existing alcohol awareness policy was reviewed by a small working group of staff. From this an alcohol information sheet was produced, including details of local and national service providers of advice and support for alcohol and other drugs.

We held a team meeting with a presentation and discussion around alcohol awareness, and following this all staff received an email with a link to a screening and brief advice website, provided by the Alcohol Health Network. The online screening tool is based on the World Health Organisation’s validated Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Tool (AUDIT). 48 staff completed the AUDIT, and brief advice and signposting to local services were provided afterwards.

A training session for managers was then delivered by Don Shenker from the Alcohol Health Network, to 11 HIN managers. The training covered alcohol facts, myths and definitions, how alcohol impacts on work, your role as a manager, supporting employees with alcohol problems, and where to get further information and advice. There was excellent discussion on a number of these issues.

We also held a Lunch and Learn session on ‘Understanding alcohol units’, with several activities including a pub quiz, information on strength and volume of drinks, and a non-alcoholic beverage tasting session. An evaluation of the programme is currently underway.

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