AA works with patients at King’s Lynn’s QEH

Rev Susan Hollins ANL-160806-144008001

Rev Susan Hollins ANL-160806-144008001

Rev Susan Hollins

The helpers from Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) are working to support patients who are looking to break their drinking habit.

Last year, 613 people were treated at the hospital with alcohol-related injuries.

Volunteers from AA are heading out on to the wards to share their stories with some patients along with offering greater support.

Hospital chaplain, the Rev Susan Hollins, said the QEH is the only hospital in Norfolk to be running the scheme.

Instrumental in initiating the project, she 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 with the NHS and sometimes can end up on the street with no-one to care for them.

“Members of the 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, the Terrington and Stanhoe wards, plus the MAU (Medical Assessment Unit).

“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 has been on show in the foyer at the hospital this week.

One of the volunteers from the AA said: “I want to help people to get what I have – a life. It is up to the patient to decide if they want to take it any further.

Dorothy Hosein, chief executive of the QEH Trust, said: “This scheme and the volunteers are helping to change people’s lives for the better. This hospital has a strong association with the community and we are pleased to be working with AA.”