Study Design: Observational Study
Disease Area: Mental Health
Funder: Office of Police and Crime Commissioners (OPCC) and Yorkshire and Humber(Y&H)Clinical Research Network (CRN)
Sponsor: Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
Chief Investigator: Prof Thomas Phillips

FASTer access to alcohol treatment Study (FASTer)


Alcohol dependence is a treatable condition that affects communities and families and is linked to over 200 mental health and medical conditions, accidents and violent/non-violent injuries. Consequently, alcohol use disorders are commonly identified within emergency departments (ED) and may require hospital admission.

Main Study

This study will explore how short alcohol screening tests can be used in EDs to accurately identify those in need of access to alcohol treatment. All adult (≥ 18years) ED attenders clinically cleared by ED staff will be invited to participate.

Participants will be asked to complete several questionnaires on topics such as demographic details (e.g. age, gender); use of health services; alcohol questionnaires; and nature/severity of injuries (if relevant). Optional consent will be requested to access ED patient records to obtain the ED diagnosis and discharge codes.

All participants will receive a voucher thanking them for their participation in the study.

Qualitative Study

The Qualitative study will: 1) explore healthcare professional perspectives on how to implement alcohol screening tools within EDs and 2) identify potential care pathways for those presenting with alcohol dependence.

Qualitative study participants will be either:

  • Registered nurses and doctors who have worked for 6 months or more in any of the 4 settings listed below at either the Diana Princess of Wales Hospital, Grimsby, Scunthorpe General Hospital or Hull Royal Infirmary
  • Registered nurses, practitioners and doctors who have worked for 6 months or more in alcohol services supporting these hospitals

The 4 settings are:

  • Emergency departments
  • Acute medical units
  • Hospital-based alcohol care teams
  • Specialist community alcohol teams

Focus groups (online or face to face) will last approximately 90 minutes. Discussions will be recorded and participant consent will be requested.

All participants will be offered a voucher thanking them for their participation in the study.

What will we acheive?

Study results will inform the development of care pathways for people who experience alcohol dependence which may reduce hospital admissions; improve patient care and facilitate access to community treatment services for those experiencing alcohol dependence.

Data relating to violent incidents and assaults will inform policing and licensing strategies in the locality.

Note: no information obtained from participants will be passed to the police.

Chief Investigator

Prof Thomas Philipps Professor of Nursing (Addictions) - University of Hull

HHTU Study team

Bronwen Williams - Operations Manager
Sarah Sumpter - Senior Data Manager
John Turgoose - Information Systems Manager
Judith Cohen - Director


Simon Coulton Professor of Health Services Research - University of Kent
Prof Colin Martin Professor of Nursing - University of Hull
Prof Iain Brennen Professor of Criminology - University of Hull
Dr Maureen Twiddy Senior Lecturer in Mixed Methods - Methods Hub, Hull York Medical School
Prof Colin Drummond Professor of Addiction Psychiatry - Kings College London

Email address

Participating Sites and leads

  • Hull Emergency Department Dr Fraser Young
  • Scarborough Emergency Department Dorothy Hutchinson
  • Grimsby Emergency Department Dorothy Hutchinso

The privacy notice for the main study can be found here.

The privacy notice for the qualitative study can be found here.



Watch this space.