SUFARI - How we explored alcohol and drug use in mental health services and developed a tool to assist conversations about substance use risk

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


We will present this project by CNWL Substance Use Mental Health team, dual diagnosis workers liaising across mental health and addictions services in several London Boroughs.

We will discuss findings of our annual audit, giving insights into drug and alcohol use reported by mental health service users on admission to hospital.


Since 2014, we have carried out an annual audit of reported substance use for people admitted to adult mental health wards from five boroughs.  We selected 100 cases – the first 20 people admitted to each sector during May each year, and audited their electronic records for any details of their substance use, including the following information:

Bromley Tool: A simple method of gathering data about alcohol and drugs, required of all admissions.

Risk Assessment

Initial Assessment

Urine Drug Screen

Case notes


We will report key findings of the audit, regarding patterns of use and quality of recording.

Audit Conclusions

Our system for screening and documenting substance were complicated and out of date.

Substances were frequently reported in ways that suggested staff were not familiar enough with them to make clinical judgments – especially re novel psychoactive drugs.

We will describe development in 2016 of an updated form, SUFARI (Substance Use Frequency Amount Risk Identification) . This was developed with service users and frontline mental health staff.  SUFARI is concordant with recent NICE guidelines on substance use and dual diagnosis.

Our session will welcome review by colleagues who may wish to use in other areas.


AUTHORS – for this paper: Adrian Brown, Alcohol Nurse Specialist (CNWL Harrow), Claudine Pisani (ex) Dual Diagnosis Lead (CNWL Brent), Eloise Tabernacle Dual Diagnosis Worker, (Royal Borough Kensington & Chelsea), Cheneka Murray, Dual Diagnosis Worker (CNWL Westminster), Gemma Morgan, Dual Diagnosis Worker (CNWL Westminster), (Presenters will be from first three named, who will seek funding to attend.) Former SUMH group members, auditors: Alyson Burberry (RBK&C), Fiona Clyne (CNWL), Kamaldeep Rai (CNWL), Stephen Parker (CNWL) Steering group and form development members: Sonia Kaur Sangha (CNWL), Catherine McManus (CNWL), Sarah Lyons (CNWL), Charlotte Vallely (service user rep), Stuart Adams (service user rep)

Conflicts of interest:

No conflict of interest


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Ms Eloise Tabernacle