Information for patients
This leaflet can be made available in other formats including large print, CD and Braille and in languages other than English, upon request.
Alcohol Care Team
Alcohol dependency can happen to anyone. Change is possible.
The Alcohol Care Team are here to help people to make that change.
The Alcohol Care Team helps patients who have been affected by alcohol to navigate our local system and get the support they need to live better, healthier, more positive lives. The Alcohol Care Team is a team of specialists that support patients throughout the hospital to reduce, quit or use alcohol more safely. We used to be known as Alcohol Liaison Services but have rebranded as Alcohol Care Teams as part of the NHS Long Term Plan.
The Team provides support to:
- Inpatients at UHNT admitted due to alcohol-related issues or harm.
- Inpatients at UHNT that, through screening in hospital, have been identified as someone that would benefit from support from the Team.
Alcohol Care Teams are specialist staff that can support you to:
- Recognise the impact alcohol has on your physical health, mental health, relationships and other matters.
- Reduce or manage the risks of harm associated with alcohol use.
- Reduce or manage your alcohol use or become alcohol free.
- Remain alcohol free.
- Access the right support and help for you in the community.
Alcohol Care Teams do this by undertaking a specialist assessment of your needs, by providing mental support and social activities and by collaborating with and referring on to hospital based and community services.
The shared vision of our Alcohol Care Team is to ensure early identification and safe and effective management of alcohol use for all patients presenting for treatment at any of our hospitals.
Approximately 180,000 hospital admissions and 35% of attendances in A&E departments are alcohol related. An estimated 15,000 to 22,000 deaths each year are associated with alcohol, which includes young people as well as adults. We want to reduce the impact alcohol has on our patients lives, support patients to make healthier choices and to prevent alcohol-related deaths.
Alcohol has a significant impact on our lives, including:
- Short and long-term damage to physical and mental health.
- Breakdown of relationships.
- Dependency/addiction behaviours such as drinking to prevent withdrawal.
- Foetal alcohol syndrome (foetal alcohol syndrome affects babies if pregnant women drink alcohol during pregnancy) – Speak to a Midwife or your GP for further information.
- Premature death.
Our services aim to reduce and prevent alcohol-related:
- A&E attendances.
- Reduce hospital admissions.
- Duration of stay on the wards and in hospital in general.
- Overall physical and financial costs.
There is no completely safe level of drinking. However, adults are advised not to regularly drink more than 14 units spread out over three or more days. If you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, the only safe approach is not to drink alcohol at all.
Alcohol unit reference
One unit of alcohol
- Half pint of ‘regular’ beer, lager or cider
- Half a small glass of win
- One single measure of spirits
- One small glass of sherry
- One single measure of aperitifs
Drinks more than a single unit
- Pint of ‘regular’ beer, lager or cider
- Pint of ‘strong’ or ‘premium’ beer, larger or cider
- Alcopop or a 275ml bottle of regular lager
- 440ml can of ‘regular’ lager or cider
- 440ml can of ‘super strength’ lager
- 250ml glass of wine (12%)
- 75cl bottle of wine (12%)
Think about your drink infographic
What’s your score?
Score yourselves on the following questions:
- How often do you have a drink containing alcohol?
Scoring: 0 – Never, 1 – Monthly or less, 2 – 2 to 4 times per month, 3 – 2 to 3 times per week, 4 – 4+ times per week.
2. How many units do you drink on a typical day when you are drinking?
Scoring: 0 – 0 to 2 units, 1 – 3 to 4 units, 2 – 5 to 6 units, 3 – 7 to 9 units, 4 – 10+ units
3. How often have you had six or more units if female, or 8 or more if male, on a single occasion in the last year?
Scoring: 0 – Never, 1 – Less than monthly, 2 – Monthly, 3 – Weekly, 4 – Daily or almost daily
1 unit equals: Half a pint of beer OR half a glass of wine, OR one single shot of spirit.
Scored 0 to 4?
Congratulations! Your drinking is at low-risk for health harm. Keep it up!
Scored 5 to 10?
You may be drinking at a level that could put your health at risk. A few small changes could make all the difference.
Scored 11 or 12?
It may be worth speaking to your GP about your score. Or, you could call Drinkline.
Further Alcohol Support
Change Grow Live (CGL) Stockton
32-34 William St
Telephone: 01642 673888
E Mail: [email protected]
Monday to Friday 9am– 5pm
Telephone: 01429 285000
E Mail: [email protected]
HumanKind – County Durham/Easington/Peterlee/Sedgefield
Monday to Friday 9:00am – 5:00pm
Centre for Change
1 Station Road
Helpline number: 03000 266 266
E Mail: [email protected]
DrinkCoach free app (iOS and Android)
“DrinkCoach looks simple, but it could be a really important app for people looking to cut down on their alcohol intake. It’s a way to track the units and calories that you’re drinking, set goals for yourself (and get reminders of them), and watch videos that may help you manage alcohol cravings when they come along.”
The app can help with ‘sober-self’ reminders, a drink tracker, hangover diary, goal setting and sharing, mindfulness videos, drink tracker summaries and online appointments.
To Download: https://drinkcoach.org.uk/download-drinkcoach-app
24 hour helpline: 02038 115 619
Drinkline is the national alcohol helpline. If you are worried about your own or someone else’s drinking, you can call this free helpline in complete confidence.
Monday – Friday 9am – 8pm
Saturday and Sunday 11am – 4pm
Telephone: 0300 123 1110
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is a free self-help group. Its “12 step” programme involves getting sober with the help of regular support groups.
Type in search your area and find local AA meetings for free: https://www.alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk/AA-Meetings/Find-a-Meeting/
SMART Recovery groups help people decide whether they have a problem, build up their motivation to change, and offer a set of proven tools and techniques to support recovery.
Adfam is a national charity working with families affected by drugs and alcohol. Adfam operates an online message board and a database of local support groups.Website: https://adfam.org.uk/
Al-Anon Family Groups (UK and Eire)
Al-Anon Family Groups offers support and understanding to the families and friends of problem drinkers, whether they are still drinking or not. ‘Alateen’ is part of Al-Anon and can be attended by 12- to 17-year-olds who are affected by another person’s drinking, usually a parent.
We Are With You is a UK-wide treatment agency that helps individuals, families and communities manage the effects of drug and alcohol misuse. If you are over 50 and worried about your drinking contact below.
Telephone: 0808 8010 750
The National Association for Children of Alcoholics (Nacoa) provides a free, confidential telephone and email helpline for children of alcohol-dependent parents and others concerned about their welfare.
Telephone: 0800 358 3456
Comments, concerns, compliments or complaints
Patient Experience Team (PET)
We are continually trying to improve the services we provide. We want to know what we’re doing well or if there’s anything which we can improve, that’s why the Patient Experience Team (PET) is here to help. Our Patient Experience Team is here to try to resolve your concerns as quickly as possible. The office is based on the ground floor at the University Hospital of North Tees if you wish to discuss concerns in person. If you would like to contact or request a copy of our PET leaflet, please contact:
Telephone: 01642 624719
Freephone: 0800 092 0084
Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 9:30am to 4:00pm
Email: [email protected]
Out of hours
Out of hours if you wish to speak to a senior member of Trust staff, please contact the hospital switchboard who will bleep the appropriate person.
Telephone: 01642 617617
Data protection and use of patient information
The Trust has developed Data Protection policies in accordance with Data Protection Legislation (UK General Data Protection Regulations and Data Protection Act 2018) and the Freedom of Information Act 2000. All of our staff respect these policies and confidentiality is adhered to at all times. If you require further information on how we process your information please see our Privacy Notices.
Telephone: 01642 383551
Email: [email protected]Privacy Notices
This leaflet has been produced in partnership with patients and carers. All patient leaflets are regularly reviewed, and any suggestions you have as to how it may be improved are extremely valuable. Please write to the Clinical Governance team, North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, University Hospital of North Tees, TS19 8PE or:
Email: [email protected]
Leaflet Reference: PIL1383
Date for review: 27/07/2025