Management of Alcohol Withdrawals in the Acute Medical Unit - An audit to uncover practice

First published: 10 May 2019 | Last updated: 20 May 2019


Our alcohol care bundle is intended to improve experiences of care at Northwick Park Hospital for alcohol dependent patients.

This is being launched via a quality improvement project, testing the impact of a checklist of key items of care for someone admitted to hospital when at risk of alcohol withdrawals.

The bundle is based upon NICE and Hospital Trust guidelines re prescribing and monitoring patients.


Audit of paper and electronic notes for patients referred to ANS by Acute Admissions Unit ward from 1st April to 30th June 2016.

Eligibility criteria: all those referred to ANS via established pathways, in hospital for more than 24 hours, did not self-discharge before bundle started, not subject to intensive care or early transfer to specialist ward.


Of 49 eligible patients, 21 cases were included in the audit.

All had care bundles in their notes, and these commenced within 24 hrs of admission in 13 cases.

3 of 16 were not commenced on Pabrinex as expected, but all 16 completed a minimum course of three days.

The poster will include use of Chlordiazepoxide, plus frequency of nurses monitoring with CIWA scale (Clinical Institute Withdrawal Assessment for alcohol).

Conclusions pending

This poster explores baseline data of patients referred to the alcohol nurse specialists (ANS).

During the pilot, our forms were modified, subject to feedback from colleagues, and service user input at steering groups. In August we fully launch the bundle, seeking evidence of improvements in care and outcomes for patients over six months.

Conflicts of interest:

Funding sources and declaration:

CLAHRC Northwest London, CNWL NHS Trust (& LNWH Healthcare Trust)


no conflict of interest


Download the presentation

Download the full presentation here

Mr Adrian Brown