Alcohol-related Liver Disease

A major healthcare goal of the Scottish Government is to reduce alcohol-related harm, in all its many manifestations. Much of the cost, morbidity and mortality of alcohol-related disease is driven by alcohol-related liver disease. In 2017 SHAAP launched its report, ‘Alcohol-related Liver Disease: Guidance for Good Practice’ at the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, with the support and participation of the Chief Medical Officer for Scotland, Dr Catherine Calderwood. The Guidance was drawn up by a multi-disciplinary group of healthcare specialists chaired by Professor John Dillon, University of Dundee and NHS Tayside.

The document makes recommendations for an alcohol-related liver disease care pathway for use by GPs, addiction services and acute general hospitals in relation to:

  1. Identification and early assessment of patients with alcohol-related liver disease and/or liver fibrosis
  2. Treatment of alcohol-related liver failure
  3. Follow-up; as well as
  4. Recommendations for research.

Dissemination of the guidance across Scotland:

Professor Dillon has set up a short-life working group to deliver a core care pathway for patients with acute liver conditions accessing treatment and detox services in NHS Tayside. He has developed a template based on the existing HepC pathway Managed Clinical Network which could be used in other health boards – if you are interested in using this template for your own health board area, please request one from Felicity Garvie at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Next steps

It is planned to contact physicians/psychiatrists/nurses/addiction support services in other health boards across Scotland to initiate or support, where already in existence, the roll-out nationally of the guidance. If you are interested in getting involved, please contact Felicity at the above email or on 0131 2473667.

Sharing good practice

If you have good practice in the area of treatment and care of patients with alcohol-related liver disease which you would like to share via this webpage, please contact Felicity as above.

Sharing information

For a hard copy of the SHAAP Guidance, please contact Felicity as above.

Presentation by Dr Lesley Graham at the Launch.