Nurse joins national experts panel

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A Clinical Nurse Specialist in the Substance Misuse Service in Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust – the county’s mental health, learning disability and community healthcare provider – has joined two national expert panels in his field.

Mark Holmes, who has worked in the service for 15 years, recently became a voluntary advisor in the Steering Group for the Alcohol Learning Centre (ALC) and joined the expert panel for Liver Disease and End of Life Care last year after being asked by Professor Martin Lombard, the Department of Health’s National Clinical Director for Liver Disease.

The 12-membered expert panel for Liver Disease and End of Life Care – on which Mark is the only non-medic – is based at Wellington House in London and produces guidance for professionals who provide palliative care to people with alcoholic liver disease with the aim to improve it.

The ALC is commissioned by the Department of Health and managed by the North West Public Health Observatory at Liverpool John Moores University and provides online resources to those working to decrease alcohol related harm. The Steering Group is made up of eight professionals. It evaluates and advises on the ALC’s contents (including training and relevant publications), moderates its online forums and promotes its usage.

Clive Henn, the Senior Alcohol Advisor at the Department of Health, said: “The Alcohol Learning Centre is an important resource supporting practitioners and local commissioners in their efforts to reduce alcohol related harm. I am very pleased that Mark has agreed to join the steering group because he is a nationally recognised figure within the alcohol treatment fields and his specialist knowledge will support the North West Public Health Observatory in ensuring that the ALC remains contemporary and relevant.”

Mark said: “I feel passionately that we need to treat those who are dying or are at risk of dying from alcoholic liver disease like we would any other end-of-life condition. By joining the groups I will help to improve the care for the thousands that die of alcoholic liver disease each year by sharing my experience, advising at national levels and helping to influence national policy. We need to keep alcohol-related matters on the agenda.”