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Introduction

In most intergroups and regions in the UK, tasks relating to health are performed by the Health Liaison officer (HLO), although in some cases Health Liaison work is performed by a team or committee. Some of the most common tasks performed by the HLO include:

  • Serving as a point of contact for health professionals such as Doctors, Treatment Centre Workers and Alcohol Liaison Nurses interested in working with AA
  • Providing health professionals with information relating to AA and the 12 step programme of recovery.
  • Helping to set up AA meetings in treatment centres and hospitals
  • Organizing and giving presentations to professionals in the health sector, for example to Doctors in training
  • Distributing public information material (such as posters and leaflets) to GP surgeries and treatment centres
  • The specific nature of the tasks performed by the HLO will also, to a certain extent, be different in different parts of the country depending on the local NHS structure. For example, depending on which NHS clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) fall within the geographical boundaries of the intergroup or region. From this point of view, it is also important to remember that the geographical boundaries of the NHS do not necessarily overlap with the intergroups and regions of the AA service structure, making communication and cooperation with other HLOs an important part of the role. Different CCGs may also have different policies and differing views on alcohol treatment and may also not be familiar with AA. As a result, a polite and professional approach to health professionals is often an effective way of establishing contact and communicating what AA is and how it can help their patients and clients who have alcohol problems. Further guidance can be found in the Health Resources section below.