Leading nurses from across the UK have formed a body to co-ordinate
alcohol-related advice and services.
The Nursing Council on Alcohol, launched in November, will promote awareness
of the issue within nursing. It will initiate training programmes, and
establish a network of experienced individuals who can educate others in the
profession. There will also be assistance for nurses who have alcohol-related
Hazel Watson, interim secretary of the council, said various research
projects have shown a reluctance by nurses to be involved in the detection and
prevention of alcoholism and similar problems.
Research has also indicated that screening and advice can help people find a
sensible level of drinking.
"Registered nurses have continually highlighted the lack of education
and training," Dr Watson said. "The council will provide an active
link between the nurse and training and support in identification and
The council’s interim chairman, David Cooper, said, "It is amazing that
nurses hardly flinch at asking the patient or client about his or her bowel
movement, yet they feel reluctant to explore alcohol use."