SilverCloud Health partners with Inclusion to tackle alcohol problems through digital therapy

Digital mental health platform SilverCloud Health has formed a partnership with Inclusion, part of the Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and a national provider of mental health and substance misuses services, to develop an online treatment programme for problem drinking.

The NHS Long Term Plan highlights the importance of alcohol and problem drinking. It makes it a national priority to reduce the burden on the NHS, in the form of alcohol-related A&E visits and an increased risk of developing other conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and liver disease.

The plan aims to increase the number of alcohol care teams, to improve the continuity of care, and to create a better interface between NHS, local authority and public health initiatives.

The role of digital therapy is a common theme throughout the NHS Long-Term Plan, and it also highlights the importance of technology-enabled care for people with alcohol issues, particularly in behavioural change.

SilverCloud Health will be adding the Inclusion alcohol programme to its extensive library of more than 30 programmes and modules. Dr Lloyd Humphreys, head of Europe for SilverCloud Health, said:

“Alcohol is a pervasive issue for many with mental health problems and is now receiving attention from the secretary of state for health and social care in the NHS Long Term Plan. This latest addition to our platform will help many people actively address some of the contributing factors to their emotional wellbeing and reduce the delays in receiving evidence-based treatment.”

SilverCloud is the most comprehensive digital therapy platform. It is used by 70% of mental health services in IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies), having treated more than 250,000 people globally.

SilverCloud Health has been singled out by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) for its evidence-base and effectiveness. It was awarded the highest grade on its Evaluations Framework for Digital Technologies – Tier 3B – where it was also used as a case study to demonstrate the standards that others should achieve.

It is hoped that this latest programme will reduce the number of people being referred to multiple services due to existing exclusion criteria around drinking and enable them to receive continuity of care through the SilverCloud platform.

Danny Hames, head of Inclusion and sexual health, said:

“Inclusion has developed robust protocols for addressing alcohol problems with service users. Through our face-to-face services, we exceed the national average with regards to successfully treating those with problematic alcohol use.

“We are excited to take these and translate them in to the digital platform provided by SilverCloud. This latest development highlights the cutting-edge service delivery model that Inclusion provides at a national level, and our mission to meet as much need as possible. This programme will be rolled-out to all our services in a phased way.”