Alcohol Assertive Outreach Treatment (AAOT) offers a creative and flexible approach to engaging and treating patients with alcohol dependence and complex needs through regular proactive support at home or in their local neighbourhood, who might otherwise be readmitted to an acute hospital ward. 

More than 100 mental health clinicians, practitioners, researchers, commissioners and people with lived experience of alcohol dependence and co-occurring health conditions joined the webinar and discussed the challenges, outcomes, including cost savings for the local health economy, and implementation strategies for AAOT. 

The webinar included:

  • Existing evidence of effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of AAOT and patients’ feedback on the AAOT trial 
  • Progress and evaluation of the Mental Health Implementation Network
  • Implementation of AAOT in Greater Manchester and Yorkshire and Humber
  • Reflections from Experts by Experience on working on an implementation project and lived experience of AAOT
  • Discussions on Communities of Practice and how it can aid the implementation of a new intervention.

Dr Stephen Kaar, consultant addictions psychiatrist, Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust and honorary senior lecturer, Manchester University presented results from the VALOR study, an evaluation of the AAOT service in Manchester.

Our research found that overall, the population that attended A&E due to alcohol-related incidents dropped significantly. Unplanned hospital bed nights also reduced in people who were high-frequent attenders in A&E. Our qualitative research found that service users were engaged with support and they reported improved relationships with family and friends and improved mood.

Dr Stephen Kaar

Professor Tom Phillips, professor of addictions and nursing, University of Hull presented results of the Collaborative Alcohol Care (CoACH) study in Hull. 

In our sample the average hospital admissions over 12 months before introducing AAOT was 149 admissions; following the introduction of AAOT this reduced to four days. Reducing hospital use through AAOT may result in 50% reduction in cost. Service users also reported that they highly valued the staff and the regular support.

Professor Tom Phillips

Both presentations from Manchester and Hull have produced important evidence of benefit that can inform decision making on how to fund services for people with alcohol dependence.

Professor Colin Drummond, professor of addiction psychiatry, King’s College London and MHIN lead

By being involved in the research project I’ve learned a lot and been able to input my views, and my experiences from an outside perspective that the research team have found very useful. I think it is very useful to get that insight and have a joined-up approach to research.

Stephen Blood, patient and public involvement lead, Greater Manchester

Going to the service is the best decision I’ve ever made. I was frightened, but joining the groups has been the best thing for me. There is always support for us, someone to talk to. I attend lots of support groups and have even started a support group for women, which I think is needed because women like to speak to women. I feel extremely fortunate and well looked after.

Ruth, who advocates for the AAOT model in Hull