This guideline offers best practice advice on the care of adults and young people with alcohol dependence or who are harmful drinkers.
Treatment and care should take into account people's needs and preferences. Service users should have the opportunity to make informed decisions about their care and treatment, in partnership with their healthcare professionals. If service users do not have the capacity to make decisions, healthcare professionals should follow the Department of Health's advice on consent and the code of practice that accompanies the Mental Capacity Act. In Wales, healthcare professionals should follow advice on consent from the Welsh Government.
If a service user is under 16, staff should follow the guidelines in the Department of Health's 'Seeking consent: working with children'.
Good communication between staff and service users is essential. It should be supported by evidence-based written information tailored to the service user's needs. Treatment and care, and the information service users are given about it, should be culturally appropriate. It should also be accessible to people with additional needs such as physical, sensory or learning disabilities, and to people who do not speak or read English.
If the service user agrees, families and carers should have the opportunity to be involved in decisions about treatment and care. For young people under the age of 16, parents or guardians should be involved in decisions about treatment and care according to best practice.
Families and carers should also be given the information and support they need in their own right.
Care of young people in transition between paediatric and adult services should be planned and managed according to the best practice guidance described in 'Transition: getting it right for young people'.