The Alcohol Identification and Brief Advice e-learning project (Alcohol IBA) helps professionals to identify those individuals whose drinking might be impacting on their health and to deliver simple, structured advice. Courses cover delivering alcohol IBA in four settings: Primary Care, Community Pharmacy, Hospitals and Dental Teams. The Primary Care and Community Pharmacy courses have been developed with the Department of Health's Alcohol Policy Team. The Hospital Settings course was developed with NHS Portsmouth with funding and learning materials contributed by the Department of Health. The Dental Teams course has been developed with the Dental Public Health team at Public Health England.
NICE public health guideline PH24: ‘Alcohol-use disorders: preventing harmful drinking’, recommends that health and social care, criminal justice and community and voluntary sector professionals in both NHS and non-NHS settings who regularly come into contact with people who may be at risk of harm from the amount of alcohol they drink, should routinely carry out alcohol screening and deliver brief advice as an integral part of practice. For instance, discussions should take place during new patient registrations, when screening for other conditions and when managing chronic disease or carrying out a medicine review. These discussions should also take place when promoting sexual health, when seeing someone for an antenatal appointment and when treating minor injuries
Alcohol IBA can be effectively delivered by a wide range of healthcare professionals, such as GPs, practice nurses, pharmacists, general nurses and dentists. The courses have been designed to provide the skills and understanding to deliver IBA in line with the National Occupational Standard AH10 – ‘Work with individuals to encourage a reduction in harmful alcohol consumption and drinking behaviour'.
Users learn how to use World Health Organisation validated tools to identify patients' levels of health risk from alcohol and how to intervene appropriately with those who could benefit from cutting down. The curriculum is based on the robust evidence-base of more than 56 controlled trials over 30 years which show that simple structured feedback and motivational advice lasting less than five minutes is effective in reducing health risks from alcohol, with 1 in 8 recipients reducing to lower-risk levels of drinking and others reducing their alcohol intake by an average of 15%. If competently delivered, it will return a net saving by reducing the incidence of chronic conditions such as hypertension, CHD, mouth, throat and breast cancers and many others, to which alcohol is known to contribute significantly. Widespread use of IBA is therefore recognised as a contributor to Making Every Contact Count (MECC) and is a requirement in the NHS Healthcheck CQUIN programmes, QIPP improvements and efficiency savings.