New pathway for older drinkers shows impressive results

Arch has trialled a successful new pathway, designed for older individuals and those with restricted mobility to access alcohol services, a group that previously had low engagement with services.

The Emerald Pathway works with service users and their family in their homes to support them to stop drinking, become more connected and make positive changes to their health and lifestyle.

Ken, an Emerald Pathway service user, said:

“I haven’t had a drink for three weeks now. I’ve had a chest infection and I’m not very fit but since I haven’t had a drink I’m not as wheezy and feel better.

I’m really thankful for what they have done and I’m looking forward to getting out and doing some gardening, which I haven’t done for a long time.”

The outcomes for the Emerald Pathway in its first year have been impressive with 72% of service users being discharged either as abstinent or, having achieved their goal of controlled drinking, as an occasional drinker. A further 11% are currently still in treatment but are reporting abstinence.

Chris Campbell, Assistant Director at Blenheim, said:

“We have seen fantastic outcomes from the Emerald Pathway and some really positive individual recovery journeys from individuals that had previously been quite socially isolated.

Some service users were seen for a number of appointments at home and gradually as their motivation, confidence and recovery capital was built up they eventually started to come into the service.

At Arch we are going to continue to deliver the pathway and Blenheim will look at ways that we can replicate it in other areas where we work.”

The Emerald Pathway was originally developed to support people that had been admitted to A&E and needed to reduce their alcohol intake but this quickly grew to referrals coming in from other areas such as GP’s and Social Services.

The average age of service users was 71 and they often required additional support with their health and wellbeing.

The Emerald Pathway is being delivered by a team of Blenheim staff at Arch, the drug and alcohol integrated service in Hillingdon run in partnership with CNWL, WDP, Build on Belief and Blenheim.

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