Media Release

Offering a lifeline

Volunteers are offering a lifeline to patients who are struggling with addictions to alcohol.

Helpers from Alcoholics Anonymous are working with the Queen Elizabeth Hospital to support patients who are looking to break the habit.

Last year 613 people are treated at the hospital with alcohol related injuries.

AA volunteers are heading out onto the wards to share their stories with some patients along with offering greater support.

Hospital Chaplain, the Rev Susan Hollins, says the QEH is the only hospital in Norfolk to be running this scheme.

Ms Hollins, who was instrumental in initiating the project at the QEH, said: “Alcoholism destroys lives. An individual’s capacity to work, contribute to society, have good health and live a lengthy life along with enjoying family life and relationships is all destroyed when they are overtaken by alcoholism.

“Patients with alcoholism tend to be regular attenders within  the NHS and sometimes can end up on the street with no-one to care for them.

“Members of AA are recovering alcoholics and have a story to tell of how the substance damaged their relationships and health. They are not there to judge, as they know what it is like, but to throw a lifeline and to offer support and friendship.”

Two volunteers have been speaking to identified patients on A&E, Terrington, Stanhoe and MAU. Along with sharing their stories, they also provide contacts for support after they leave hospital and details of AA meetings.

The scheme has been running since the autumn and a display will be held in the main foyer between Monday, June 6 and Friday, June 10.

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