This Alcohol Awareness Week we wanted to shine a light on our staff who work daily to help members of the community through some of their toughest times. 

It has been nationally stated that there is an increase in alcohol consumption since entering COVID-19 lockdowns across the UK. At Yeovil Hospital, we have a dedicated Drugs and Alcohol Abuse team who identify and help those in our care. The service opened in 2004 by our Clinical Nurse Specialist Dawn Wintle and was one of the first services of its kind nationally. 

Dawn said: “Alcohol related attendances are increasing, especially with the lockdown enforcements in place. Often , the cases we see are where people are staying in their homes and have turned to drinking or drugs to help them through the pandemic. It is more important than ever that we let the public know there is support available to help them through these challenging times.” 

The national NHS guidelines state that both men and women are advised to drink no more than 14 units a week. However, even drinking 14 units a week is considered a health risk, although it is low. 

Dawn and her colleague Clinical Nurse Specialist Karen George have been working towards helping those throughout the hospital and out in the community, making sure everyone has access to the much needed support. They often work with the charity Pathways, who offers hostel housing for the homeless. 

Karen said: “We do have a great rapport with those at Pathways, many want to improve their lives; they just need a little encouragement. There have been times when they have asked why we are showing them kindness. We don’t judge their choices. Life can be extremely difficult for some individuals and it is our role and pleasure to help them, there is no need for anything but kindness.” 

The team have a diverse role within the Trust, working closely with teams around the hospital and offering advice to both staff and patients whenever needed. Dawn added: “The problem of alcohol and drug abuse will never go away, but we want you all to know that there are people who care and are willing to help at any stage.” 

If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or substance misuseabuse, there is various help available. You can access support at your local GP surgery or hospital or via online resources such as:

For further support please look at the NHS useful contacts for alcohol abuse here: 


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