Alcohol Health Equity Audit Series

Alcohol misuse is a major risk factor for early death in England and contributes to many health conditions that can lead to illness and disability. However, the prevalence of risky drinking and the harms connected with alcohol consumption are not spread evenly across society. A Health Equity Audit (HEA) is an approach to exploring how fairly resources, opportunities and access are distributed according to the needs of different groups of people.

In this HEA series, we sought to understand the West Sussex picture of people drinking at hazardous, harmful or probable dependent levels.

A Short Read summary report is available now which provides an overview of the HEA methodology, findings and recommendations with further detailed reports published in time.

The HEA series is intended to provide local evidence to support equitable access to treatment and outcomes, whilst underpinning the development of a strategic approach to alcohol in West Sussex.

On this page, you can find set of resources, including definitions of the tools and datasets we have used and interactive maps and infographics to support local commissioning and other stakeholders which we will be updating over time.

At the bottom of the page you can find all of the reports from the series for download.

The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT)

Throughout this HEA series we have used the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) as a measure of risky/hazardous alcohol consumption.

There are 10 questions around alcohol consumption, drinking behaviours and alcohol related problems to understand alcohol consumption and harm. This gives a score between 0 and 40. A score of 0-7 indicates low risk. Scores above 8 denote increasing and higher risk drinking. Specifically, a score between 8 and 15 denotes potentially hazardous risk levels of drinking. Harmful risk levels of drinking are indicated by AUDIT scores of 16-19 and a score of 20 or more is indicative of probable dependence.

Estimating local alcohol consumption and estimated need

Based on an estimated population of 726,900 residents (aged 16 and over) and a national prevalence assumption of increasing or higher risk drinking (AUDIT score 8 and over) we estimated that approximately 133,600 people in West Sussex are consuming alcohol at levels risky to their health and may benefit from support. This includes more than 8,000 residents drinking at probable dependence levels (see table below).

Estimates of drinking levels by AUDIT risk group among adults aged 16+; West Sussex (aggregating national age/sex specific prevalence at ward level)

Area Non-drinkers/low risk Hazardous drinking Harmful drinking /mild dependence Probably dependence
West Sussex 593,300 113,200 12,300 8,100
Adur 43,400 8,100 900 600
Arun 115,100 20,800 2,200 1,400
Chichester 86,000 15,900 1,700 1,100
Crawley 74,700 15,800 1,800 1,200
Horsham 98,500 18,800 2,000 1,300
Mid Sussex 100,400 19,400 2,210 1,400
Worthing 75,300 14,400 1,600 1,000

The map below shows estimated numbers of people in the increasing risk (score of 8 or more) on the audit category by ward across West Sussex. Because these are prevalence assumptions applied to the demographics of each area, larger numbers of increasing risk drinkers largely correlate to areas that have larger populations. This information provides a visual representation of the areas where we might reasonably expect to see the most need.

If you cannot see the map, please click on this link and use the back button of your browser to return to this page.

The second set of maps, below, show the different AUDIT risk categories. As with the previous map, these are not rates, but estimated numbers of people who might drink at each risk level. As such, there will be some areas which have a high number of people in all AUDIT categories simply because there are more people living in those areas. Nonetheless, the maps may be useful to highlight where across the county we might find higher or lower uptake of service use and identify areas for concentrating efforts.

You can toggle each risk group using the check boxes on the right hand side, if you want to show the local authority boundaries uncheck, then check the box to bring the boundaries to the top of the map.

If you cannot see the map, please click on this link and use the back button of your browser to return to this page.



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