Edinburgh service for people with alcohol-related brain damage given mental health award

A residential facility in Edinburgh for people with Alcohol Related Brain Damage (ARBD) has been given a mental health award.

Staff at Milestone.

Milestone is an alcohol-free 10-bed residential facility in Edinburgh which offers short-term care to people with ARBD who no longer need medical care, but are not yet ready to go home.

It has won the award for the most innovative mental health service from the Mental Health and Wellbeing Awards, with judges describing the team of staff as “going the extra mile with excellent outcomes”.

The facility reduces the time needed in hospital for people experiencing problems after a prolonged period of heavy drinking, including difficulty remembering, concentrating, or making decisions, as well as irritableness or feelings of confusion.

Sign up to our public interest bulletins - get the latest news on the Coronavirus

Sign up to our public interest bulletins - get the latest news on the Coronavirus

With multidisciplinary support, service users at risk of “slipping through the net” can improve their recovery.

Service Manager Lesley Forbes said: “We’re delighted to win this award for Milestone. The team and I are all feeling very proud that our work has been recognised in this way. Awards like this are a chance to raise awareness of ARBD and it also shines a light on the innovative work we undertake with the inspirational people who access our service here at Milestone.

“The wellbeing outcomes for people accessing Milestone who are at risk of slipping through the net are quite astounding. But we know that the more we recognise and understand ARBD and with the right support, people can and do make a significant recovery.”

Milestone is a partnership between mental health charity Penumbra, NHS Lothian, Waverley Care, and Health and Social Care Partnerships in Edinburgh, Midlothian, East Lothian and West Lothian.

East Lothian IJB Chair Councillor Fiona O’Donnell said: “Penumbra’s Milestone Project richly deserves the Innovative Interventions Award. I know that it has made a real and positive difference in the lives of the people who use its services. Congratulations to our partners at Milestone – your work and approach is outstanding and makes a lasting contribution to the recovery of people with ARDB.’’

Fiona Hume, Assistant Programme Manager, NHS Lothian said: “I am delighted that the ARBD Unit at Penumbra Milestone has been recognised for their innovative approach to supporting the mental health and well being of people with ARBD. The team’s hard work. skill and dedication to working with this vulnerable group of patients is truly inspiring and even more so in the challenging times of Covid. This service and all the staff involved are a great example of what can be achieved through partnership working and delivering a person centred care service.”

The Mental Health and Wellbeing Awards are a UK-wide celebration of excellence in mental health and well-being interventions. Hosted by the Mental Health Awareness Programme, the awards launched in 2019 and are free to enter.

Judges of the awards are from Mental Health First Aid England, the University of Southampton, the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust, Mindwise and The Root of It.

Penumbra is a Scottish mental health charity based in Edinburgh, which supports around 1800 adults and young people every week.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.