New study

Exploring the impact of length of stay on alcohol withdrawal hospital readmissions


Exploring the impact of length of stay (LOS) on alcohol withdrawal hospital readmissions and emergency department attendances in England (Dec 2019 – Nov 2020)

Alcohol-related hospital admissions continue to rise and remain a priority for policy makers and service providers*. Care pathways designed to shorten hospital admissions for alcohol withdrawal lack empirical evidence. This study aims to use routine NHS hospital admission and emergency department (ED) data to examine the impact of length of stay for alcohol withdrawal on subsequent hospital admissions and emergency department attendances.


Recent research conducted outside the UK has identified hospital readmission rates following alcohol withdrawal are linked to discharges against medical advice and the complexity of the patients. Furthermore, incomplete programmes of care during hospital care may influence a premature return to excessive drinking on discharge and subsequent readmission. This study aims to examine routine hospital data to examine characteristics and predictors of alcohol withdrawal readmissions and emergency department attendances in England by linking Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) Admitted Patient Care data sets with HES Accident & Emergency data sets for 2017/18 (NHS Data Access Request Service (DARS) Reference: DARS-NIC-226185-B6C2J)

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The Impact

The results will provide valuable evidence to inform the development of Alcohol Care Teams prioritised under the NHS Long-Term Plan. The findings will also inform the development of future research to address readmission rates in patients experiencing alcohol dependence and alcohol withdrawal.


Related research:

* Phillips, T., Coulton, S., & Drummond, C. (2019). Burden of alcohol disorders on emergency department attendances and hospital admissions in England. Alcohol and Alcoholism

Lead Researcher(s):

Prof Thomas Phillips, Principal Investigator & Professor of Nursing (Addictions), Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Hull. Contact: 01482 464396,

Dr Ireneous Soyiri, Senior Lecturer (Epidemiology), Faculty of Health Sciences/Hull York Medical School, University of Hull

Project funded by:

University of Hull

Project partners:

Prof Simon Coulton, Professor of Health Service Research, Centre for Health Service Research, University of Kent