NHS partnership – Alison*

Following nine years of alcohol misuse, Alison* had fallen into a cycle of regularly presenting at A&E with serious injuries that she suffered while under the influence.

Her visits to A&E could be as much as three times a week, but following joint working by the forfutures team and the mental health coordinator at the Countess of Chester hospital, Alison has begun to turn her life around, remaining alcohol free for over 40 days so far.

Following joint visits to her house by the teams and working with other agencies to engage her in support, Alison is now attending mindfulness classes and is working to address the causes of her alcohol misuse. She is continuing to work with a forfutures support worker and is now taking positive steps to improve her life, including volunteering on an allotment project with forfutures.

Sarah Ellis, forfutures Accommodation Manager, said: “Alison has made huge progress because she has been determined to improve her life, after she was able to access the right support at the right time for her. Partnership working has been crucial to achieving this, the smooth transition from the hospital’s alcohol liaison service to the forfutures support has been instrumental to Alison’s recovery.”

Alan Williams, Mental Wellbeing Coordinator at the Countess of Chester’s Emergency Department, added: “I started my position nine months ago and initially went outside of the hospital to meet with organisations who I believed may be able to support our patients at point of access. When I met with Sarah at forfutures she was extremely enthusiastic and shared my vision for seamless care provision for those who needed it most and from there, we worked hard to open up lines of communication.

“Through collaborative working we have been able to engage with three individuals with complex needs who were either homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, and they now have secured accommodation and have support in place, I’m looking forward to continuing this valuable work under the umbrella of forfutures and developing more innovative ways of supporting individuals at the point of crisis.”

*Not her real name