AN alcohol care team is in the running for a national medical award.

Bolton NHS Foundation Trust’s gastroenterology and alcohol care team is hoping to win the British Medical Journal’s award for gastroenterology team of the year.

The team, which was launched 24 years ago, has celebrated a number of successes including saving the trust £250,000 annually by introducing specialist alcohol nurses.

It has also reduced mortality rates by five per cent by having daily consultant ward rounds.

Dr Kieran Moriarty, consultant physician and gastroenterologist at Royal Bolton Hospital, said: “Winning would be a stimulus to people. Recognition is always a nice thing.

“The alcohol care team is the best example of the ‘invest to save’ strategy in the NHS. The alcohol nurses pay for their salary five to 10-fold in reducing admissions and improved quality of care.

“The local authority, public health, the clinical commissioning group and the trust are committed to delivering liver as well as alcohol care.

“In particular they are looking to provide care to patients locally with hepatitis C and B.

“In the past, these patients had to go to Manchester for treatment and many failed to attend. We are currently looking to appoint more liver and alcohol specialist nurses to develop viral hepatitis care as well as alcohol care in Bolton.”

The team has the backing of Dr Stephen Liversedge, a leading Bolton general practitioner, who is a world leader in health screening.

He introduced questionnaires for patients at all practices in the borough to gauge how much alcohol people are drinking and to support those drinking to excess.

Dr Moriarty said: “Our patients, families and carers are a constant source of inspiration.

"Specialist alcohol care can pull people back from the brink of the most devastating consequences of alcohol misuse, restore their self-respect and return them to their families and communities.”

The team has received more than 100 accolades and awards since it was launched in 1990.

It has been shortlisted with four other trusts and hospitals. The winner will be announced at a ceremony in London, on May 8.