Patient experience of RADAR (Rapid Alcohol Detoxification: Acute hospital Referral)

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


The objective of the study was to thematically analyse the qualitative data collected on discharge from the Rapid Alcohol Detoxification: Acute hospital Referral (RADAR) service, an innovative pathway from A&E departments into a specialist residential detox facilities.


Data was collected from service users via the service satisfaction questionnaire which comprised of a series of open questions and these questions yielded qualitative comments from 235 service users.  The data were summarised and a thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006) was undertaken.


In light of this analysis, three key themes emerged which were: the programme, the people, and the environment.  Qualitative findings suggested that fellow patients and staff members contributed to service quality through their experiential knowledge and sharing of problems: such empathetic relationships served to foster understanding and learning.  A few service quality gaps were acknowledged as some service users acknowledged that there was a gap in the provision of leisure and recreation opportunities.


As service quality delivery in alcohol treatment services is not widely researched (Resnick & Griffiths, 2010), by evaluating RADAR from the service user’s perspective, a voice was given to the service users who in research terms have gone largely unheard.  Therefore, the findings are useful to not only commissioners but also to staff members who are able to improve the quality of the service.  Explanations for the findings are discussed with recommendations for future service delivery and the associated limitations of the study are highlighted.

Key words: acute hospital, rapid referral, service user, service provider.


Joanne Worsley, Centre for Public Health, Liverpool John Moores University; Dr Lorna Porcellato, Centre for Public Health, Liverpool John Moores University; Dr Chris Todd, Greater Manchester West. Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust; Dr Chris Daly, Greater Manchester West. Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust


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Dr Gordon Hay