Alcohol related brain damage unit opened in Edinburgh

SCOTTISH actress and comedienne Elaine C Smith has officially opened a new residential unit for people with alcohol related brain damage (ARBD).

Jointly run by NHS Lothian, City of Edinburgh Council and voluntary organisation Penumbra, the specialist centre at Milestone, Edinburgh, is a 10-bedded unit providing care for vulnerable men and women who no longer require hospital treatment but who are not yet ready to go directly home.

She said: "It is always quite humbling to come along to a unit like this and see the dedication, hard work and compassion afforded to so many people who are struggling with severe alcohol related problems. All too often as a society we forget the damage and devastation that this disease can cause and struggle to understand it.

“It is a privilege to meet the amazing staff and residents and to officially open this unit which I hope will be a beacon of light across our health and support services and will contribute to all those affected having a greater chance of living a better life".

Councillor Ricky Henderson, Health, Social Care and Housing Convener, said: “Alcohol can have a devastating effect on people of all ages and from all walks of life, and it’s important that support and advice are available. I welcome this service, which is meeting a growing demand, as it will give people the help they need in a calm and safe environment.” 

Alcohol abuse can have a direct effect on brain cells and symptoms of ARBD can include impaired memory, difficultly processing new information and poor concentration and decision making. It has a good prognosis with up to 70% of sufferers showing some form of improvement with the correct support.

The Edinburgh unit provides care for residents for up to 12 weeks with a team of NHS staff including; psychiatrists, psychologists, occupational therapists, substance misuse nurses and social workers working alongside Penumbra nurses and recovery workers, to provide support and rehabilitation to residents. Residents are able to engage in a number of activities and therapy to improve their physical and mental health as well as social and life skills.

Graeme Henderson, Director of Services and Development at Penumbra, said: “Penumbra Milestone is an innovative step-down unit which bridges the gap between hospital and community based care. The service has been designed to ease the pressure on acute hospital beds caused by the lengthy stay of people diagnosed with ARBD.

“This joined-up approach makes the NHS more efficient and improves the care provided to people by drawing on the valuable range of skills in the third sector, NHS and council services.”

There are estimated to be 600 people in Lothian suffering from ARBD and around 60 residents per year are expected to be supported in the new unit.

Share and Enjoy:These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.


The City of Edinburgh Council news blog - letters, opinion, news snippets, video, photos and more.....

Recent posts