Swanswell shortlisted for prestigious NHS award

22 September 2010

Swanswell, a national chariy which wants to achieve a society free from alcohol and drug use, has been announced as a finalist in the prestigious Health and Social Care Awards.

They entered their innovative hospital liaison service for the category of Primary Care and Community Based Integration. The service is unique because it takes support directly to patients who’ve been admitted to hospital and show signs of alcohol-related harm. By helping them to access treatment the service reduces readmissions and saves money for the NHS.

Of the patients referred to Swanswell, 82% weren’t referred back to the service.

With the cost per alcohol-related admission estimated at £1,540 - £2,120 (National Institute for Health and Excellence, 2010), the hospital liaison service saves the public purse up to £574,520 per year.

The awards celebrate innovation and excellence across health and social care, so it’s particularly remarkable that a service provider outside the NHS has been shortlisted.

This recognises the exceptional way that Swanswell has integrated its alcohol treatment service into the local hospital, working alongside and training ward staff to support people with alcohol misuse issues.

By getting through to the final, Swanswell has also earned the exciting opportunity to talk about its work on film. A film crew from Maverick TV are visiting the charity on 24 September to film the project and talk to John, a service user whose life has been transformed with Swanswell’s help.

He said: ‘I had a really bad drink problem. I used to drink night and day, almost from the moment I woke up. Having Caroline [Swanswell’s hospital liaison worker] come to visit me in hospital was like someone putting my mind to rest by saying I shouldn’t be ashamed to ask for help. That was the start of my road to recovery.'

Following treatment with Swanswell, John’s now holding down part-time work in a charity shop, has recently decorated his flat in Coventry and is considering training to become an alcohol worker with Swanswell.

The winner will be announced at an award ceremony on 07 October 2010, where the short films will be shown.

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