The Health Promotion Service alcohol programme follows a whole population approach to addressing alcohol issues in Lothian directed by the national strategy Changing Scotland’s Relationship with Alcohol: A Framework for Action (currently under review. A refresh of the strategy is due to be published in late 2017).

The focus of the alcohol programme is on early intervention and prevention to promote health through the sensible use of alcohol and to reduce alcohol related harm.

The alcohol team consists of the Lead for Alcohol Brief Intervention (ABI) in Lothian and 2 part-time Senior Health Promotion Specialists. The team’s remit is to contribute to the development and implementation of alcohol policy and strategy, training and resources for practitioners across the four local authorities within NHS Lothian with a particular focus on addressing health inequalities.

The programme leads on the development of the national ABI initiative for Lothian, supports the three local Alcohol and Drug Partnerships in Lothian to take forward identified alcohol priorities and supports the four Alcohol Licensing Forums.

Alcohol Brief Interventions

Currently the main focus of work includes:

  • Supporting the delivery of ABIs in the designated areas of Primary Care, Maternity Services and A&E.
  • Development and delivery of the ABI training programme in community and voluntary agencies including work with Police Scotland, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Criminal Justice Services including custody suites and prison services, City of Edinburgh youth services and older people.

Alcohol Brief Interventions (ABI) in Police Custody

People in criminal justice settings tend to be from 'hard to reach' groups, with below average engagement with health and other services, and can have multiple health needs and high levels of alcohol disorders.

NHS Lothian Health Promotion Service, NHS Health Scotland and West Lothian Drug and Alcohol Service (WLDAS) commenced a study in  August 2015 which tests the inclusion of ABIs delivered in a custody setting. Custody suite officers at Livingston Police Station, West Lothian screen all arrestees for hazardous and harmful drinking.

The work is recognised nationally and our poster presentations were awarded best visual display and best example of partnership working at both the 2015 and 2016 Public Health Conference. Please read the full report of the pilot here.

Alcohol Licensing

Health Promotion works with colleagues in Public Health, and other partners such as Police Scotland and the Alcohol and Drug Partnerships, to support the Local Alcohol Licensing Forums across Lothian.  Forums advise Alcohol Licensing Boards on the implementation and development of effective alcohol licensing practice which upholds the licensing principles of protecting and improving public health, protecting children from harm, preventing crime and disorder, securing public safety and preventing public nuisance. 

Last Reviewed: 21/09/2017