Using the quality standard

It is important that the quality standard is considered alongside current policy and guidance documents listed in the development sources section.

Quality measures and national indicators

The quality measures accompanying the quality statements aim to improve the structure, process and outcomes of healthcare. They are not a new set of targets or mandatory indicators for performance management.

Expected levels of achievement for quality measures are not specified. Quality standards are intended to drive up the quality of care, and so aspirational achievement levels are likely to be 100% (or 0% if the quality statement states that something should not be done). However, it is recognised that this may not always be appropriate in practice taking account of patient safety, patient choice and clinical judgement and therefore desired levels of achievement should be defined locally.

See NICE's how to use quality standards for further information, including advice on using quality measures.

Diversity, equality and language

During the development of this quality standard, equality issues were considered.

People with alcohol dependence, and harmful drinkers, should have the opportunity to make informed decisions about their care and treatment, in partnership with health and social care professionals. Good communication between staff and people who misuse alcohol is essential. Treatment and care, and the information people 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. Harmful drinkers and people with alcohol dependence should have access to an interpreter or advocate if needed.