Drinkline statistics (2)

Continuing on from yesterday’s post today we turn our attention to caller type data from the PHE Drinkline statistics.

Drinkline front page

Caller Type

511 (59%) calls to Drinkline in June were from individuals calling for themselves.

324 (38%) of callers in June were concerned others

Of the callers that were profiled as concerned other 77 (24%) were parents calling for their children’s, 72 (23%) were partner’s concerned by their spouse’s drinking. 68 (21%) were other family members such as cousins or aunts, 43 (14%) were children contacting out of concern for a parent or guardian and further 53 callers were another person known to the person they were concerned for. Only 3 calls (1%) were from professionals looking for advice and information for a client.

An example of a concerned other call was included:

Caller was extremely stressed about her 43 yr old son’s behaviour when drinking – which was always to excess. He is aggressive and threatening when he drinks, with police having been involved on one occasion. His father locks himself in a room when he knows his son is coming home at night. The son is also completely unreasonable and unwilling to discuss it when sober and very angry when the subject is brought up.

It was suggested to the caller that she could take advice from her own GP about her son’s behaviour which she described as bizarre, paranoid and like an angry young child. Local addiction projects were mentioned but she felt that she could not contact them in the meantime. She said she may call back for more support in the evening when a Tier 2 adviser may be available.

24 (3%) calls were from organisations. Organisations will typically contact the service for general information, fact finding or to request literature

Contact Breakdown

1,402 of the 1.462 calls that arrived to the service in July were handled by an adviser. This gives a strike rate of 96% for the month. Of the 1,378 calls that were profiled in July, 879 (64%) were recorded as valuable, where the caller was provided with general information, a quick discussion or an in depth discussion. 499 (36%) calls were recorded as playful, silent or hoax calls.

Having volunteered at the Samaritans I have the experiential insight to tell you that this level of playful, silent or hoax calls is not unusual.

What worried me about these set of statistics were the part that I’ve highlighted in bold pertaining to children calling about parents and guardians.  I would like to know whether these calls are flagged and triage offered to something like Childline so that this child is supported with counselling and the data can be recorded and reported.  I did state my concern in my reply email to PHE but never had a response so the question remains unanswered.

Tomorrow we’ll look caller demographics such as gender, age, work status and motivation to call.  Any thoughts?




2 thoughts on “Drinkline statistics (2)

  1. Very troubling stats regarding the children. So, Drinkline is still operating, just not advertised because of funding? Some people are just too afraid or ashamed to ask for help, that’s it would seem this service would be very useful. xx

    1. Agreed Lori and yes still operating but advertising budget cut. I predict the stats will decline as usage declines through lack of signposting from advertising 🙁 Cynically I would say that this will allow the govt to say that use of the service is declining therefore this reflects a reduction in those seeking help about alcohol issues without telling the whole story as to why. We’ll see and would be interesting to do a Freedom of Information request about statistics in a years time to be able to compare and contrast …..

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