Dry January is back

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Dry January

27 / 10 / 2014 3.58pm

Following the success of Dry January 2014, we will once again be helping NHS organisations to encourage their staff to take a break from drinking alcohol, during January 2015.

We’ll be teaming up with Public Health England (PHE) and Alcohol Concern, the leading national alcohol charity, to promote their 2015 campaign.

Engaging with NHS organisations

If your organisation wants to get involved, we’ll provide it with a suite of free resources and tools that NHS Employers, PHE and Alcohol Concern have produced to help you run a successful campaign, including more detail about the health benefits of abstaining, top tips, advice sharing and much more.

Through our established health and wellbeing, HR director, Flu Fighter, Care Maker, PFD champion and Do OD networks we’ll encourage organisations to help start new and healthier conversations about alcohol.

What did our pilot tell us?

Our research from February 2014 showed there is significant interest from NHS organisations to encourage their staff to take part in Dry January. It highlighted that:

  • 176 different trusts or NHS organisations were represented.
  • 77 per cent of participants were females over the age of 35.
  • 33 per cent of NHS staff who signed up for the campaign exceeded the recommended limits on a weekly basis.
  • 47 per cent were motivated to cut down their alcohol consumption longer term, and 10 per cent to cut out alcohol altogether longer term.
  • For the heavier drinkers, 85 per cent of those consuming 22-28 units a week and 70 per cent of those consuming more than 29 units a week set out with the objective of cutting down consumption longer term, and about 12 per cent intending to cut out consumption longer term.
  • The heavier drinkers were also most concerned about their reliance on alcohol, with 60 per cent wanting to reduce this, and 80 per cent wanting to test if they could go a whole month without an alcoholic drink. 

The Dry January community

The importance of the Dry January community extended beyond initial motivation, with the support of this community a key factor in keeping people going throughout the month. One of the participants told us: “The key thing was friends and colleagues – lots of gentle encouragement and support, swapping stories about non-alcoholic drinks.  It drew people together and this was one of the most positive things.” (Female, 45-60 years, 22-28 units per week)

Getting involved

We'd like to help as many organisations as possible to sign up and help staff with their 31 days of abstinence. We’ll be giving you more information about signing up in the coming weeks in our bulletins. 

In the meantime, you can register for your free suite of resources by sending your name, email address, organisation name and job title to

darran.hudson@nhsemployers.org.

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