FGDP(UK) is making its members aware of an e-learning resource on giving brief advice to dental patients about their alcohol consumption. The free resource, developed by Public Health England, provides a printable e-certificate of one hour’s verified CPD upon completion, and will enable dental professionals to meet recommendations within Delivering Better Oral Health.
One in four adults drink above recommended levels, increasing their risk of alcohol-related conditions and alcohol–related death. The most significant oral health impact is the increased risk of oral cancer, the incidence of which has risen by around two-thirds across all demographics over the last 20 years. There are now over 7,500 cases of oral cancer a year in the UK, with around nine in ten linked to lifestyle and other known risk factors, including alcohol.
Evidence has shown that providing simple alcohol advice results in significant and sustained reductions in weekly drinking, and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommends that all health professionals carry out alcohol risk identification, and deliver brief advice, as a routine and integral part of practice.
The Department of Health’s Delivering Better Oral Health specifically recommends that dental professionals follow the ‘Ask, Advise, Act’ intervention model for all patients in order to establish if they are drinking above recommended levels, to offer brief advice to those who are, and to refer or signpost high risk drinkers to their GP or local alcohol support services.
The Alcohol (Identification and Brief Advice) for Dental Teams module aims to help dental professionals to engage effectively with patients who drink above recommended levels, but who are non-dependent and may not realise that their drinking might impact their health. The training has been designed to enable this to be done in only a few minutes by using a three-question screening test and delivering routine, structured advice aimed at reducing consumption.
Those not already registered to use the NHS’s e-Learning for Health portal will need to create an account and validate their email address, and once logged in should click ‘My Account’, then ‘Enrolment’, select the module and then access it from ‘My e-Learning’. NHS staff in England and Wales can access it via their Electronic Staff Record.