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Alcohol Brief Interventions

Between 2009-2011, in partnership with NHS Health Scotland, NES employed two Health Improvement Project Leads, Inga Cosway and Leon Wylie. This was to support the education and training requirements of NHSScotland to deliver on the ABI HEAT Target (H4). Another facet of the program is to support the adoption of health improvement approaches across professional groups to assist practitioners to deal with issues relating to alcohol within their professional practice. Health Improvement has been identified as a NES cross cutting theme and the NES/NHS Health Scotland partnership is working towards embedding alcohol education and training within the NHS with the recognition that this is a major health improvement issue for all health care practitioners in all health care settings.

The ABI training was initially targeted at primary care practitioners but has now expanded to include the A&E and antenatal settings. These were chosen as there was already an existing evidence base that identified positive benefit from ABIs delivered in these settings. There are a number of pilots being conducted in the criminal justice and pharmacy settings however the HEAT target is only related to primary care, A&E and antenatal.

One of the key pieces of work so far has been the development of an ABI Competency Framework. After the initial development of the document, it was consulted on nationally and has just been published. This framework is an initial starting point in clarifying the intended practice and required knowledge, skills and approaches of the practitioners and will be of relevance to anyone involved in workforce development around ABIs. It also provides links to KSF dimensions and relevant National Occupational Standards. As the ABI theory is based on key Health Behaviour Change principles, this document also potentially provides a useful tool for other areas, such as the Child Healthy Weight initiative.