Services Database Alcohol identification and Brief Advice (Blackpool Area)

Service ID



Pharmacies will screen and provide one to one support and advice to people over 16 years of age. The service will identify increasing-risk drinking(men who regularly drink more than 3 to 4 units a day but less than the higher risk levels and women who regularly drink more than 2 to 3 units a day but less than the higher risk levels) and higher-risk drinking (men who regularly drink more than 8 units a day or more than 50 units of alcohol per week and women who regularly drink more than 6 units a day or more than 35 units of alcohol per week) and provide brief advice to motivate individuals to take positive action and help them modify their drinking patterns. The pharmacy will provide referral to specialist services if necessary.

The alcohol IBA pathway is divided into four key areas:

Patient engagement
A member of the pharmacy team initiates a conversation about alcohol use with patients/customers, explains the alcohol IBA service and offers the initial screen. The pharmacy will determine how to engage and promote the alcohol IBA service with patients/customers.

The Initial Screen (AUDIT-C tool)
A member of the pharmacy team provides the patient/customer with the AUDIT-C (using the scratch card [provided by the commissioner] or paper-based) offering assistance with completion of the questions. If the result is 5 or below, no action is taken. If the result is 6 or more, a full identification screen is offered.

The Full Identification Screen (Full AUDIT tool)

An IBA accredited pharmacist or staff member‘ Alcohol Use’ how you can make a difference – Identification and Brief Advice Training undertakes a full identification screen using the full AUDIT tool to identify between lower risk, increasing risk, higher risk and possibly dependency.

Brief Advice
The accredited IBA pharmacist or Health Champion uses information drawn from the full identification screen to determine the action to be taken regarding brief advice. 

Location of service

Lancashire LPC


Local Authority (LA)

Method of commissioning

Local Authority contract

Source of funding

NHS England

Service type

Alcohol screening & brief intervention

Other organisations involved


Start date: 01/03/2010
End date:




Staff responsible for delivering the full identification tool and brief advice components of the service must be accredited to provide the service before commencing delivery. Accreditation to provide the service is proven by possession of a current certificate. Accreditation is gained by successfully completing the underpinning knowledge and attendance and participation at in the commissioner approved training session.

Underpinning knowledge
Successful completion of the Alcohol learning Centre Intervention and Brief Advice training for Community Pharmacy open learning programme and its associated assessment (available at:

Successful completion of this open learning programme is a pre-requisite to attending the commissioner approved training session.

Counter staff should be trained to deliver the service in terms of their roles such as patient signposting or bringing patients to the pharmacist’s attention. 

Pharmacists have the option to complete the Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education (CPPE) open learning programme Alcohol misuse: support and advice from the pharmacy team Open Learning Programme as an alternative to the alcohol learning centre e-learning.

Commissioner approved training
All staff providing the full identification tool and brief advice components of the service must attend commissioner approved training. The training will be delivered by Blackpool Teaching Hospital Foundation Trust’s Public Health Team. The title of this training is ‘Alcohol Use’ how you can make a difference – Identification and Brief Advice Training. A number of training sessions will be available for staff to attend or the option of in-house training in each individual pharmacy will be offered, where requested.

The training event will review and support the underpinning knowledge required to provide the full identification tool and brief advice components of the service and on completion of the training, pharmacy staff will be able to:

  • start a conversation about alcohol use with people;
  • describe the service being offered including the use of the alcohol screening tool - Brief advice tools and referral pathways;
  • explain the categories of risk drinking levels and the benefits of changing drinking behaviour;
  • provide brief advice in a motivational, empathetic and non-judgemental way; and
  • understand the alcohol care pathway and know when and where to refer people to specialist services.


This service is available in the Blackpool area only.