IBA – making it happen?

4 Mar

It’s no secret that the big challenge is to get IBA happening large scale. That means in such a way that it will reach many of the 10 million or so adults regularly drinking above the guidelines. Simple ‘brief advice’ offered to most of them, and an offer of referral for those indicating possible dependency.

But the challenge of widespread delivery will take time, if indeed in can be achieved. Why?

Firstly, people are busy, and as recently explored, those roles that we need to do IBA may not realise it, and will often take some convincing. IBA is not the job of drug or alcohol specialists, it is the job of busy front-line health and social care roles.

They need training firstly, so they have the necessary skills – and often just importantly the confidence – to ask about alcohol. IBA e-learning is easily accessible, but face to face training is better to practice skills and retain learning. Even so, training alone won’t result in implementation.

For those trained in IBA to go on and implement it, there often needs to be more. Their organisation needs to support and encourage them. Why should they do it if no-one is monitoring it or can offer encouragement or recognition? Access to resources is also needed – leaflets and tools to support IBA can be downloaded and printed, but making them easily available in printed form helps.

‘Hearts and minds’ is what’s really needed. Hopefully the increasing training, resources and organisational buy-in will all help build the momentum. But most busy front-line roles will only ‘go the extra mile’ when they see IBA as important – even if they won’t see the outcomes.

Making IBA happen

2 Responses to “IBA – making it happen?”

  1. deryn March 27, 2013 at 2:57 pm #

    I agree that helping staff feel confident to deliver IBA is crucial; but also the raison d’etre needs to be understood too. why I am asking about alcohol use? what will the person think of me asking? are often common first responses from non specialist staff. helping staff to see the value of asking, to understand the pertinence within their role, is a crucial first step to willingness to deliver IBA. Support “at the other end” just as important though…if managers, placement teachers, mentors, senior staff etc dont encourage, support delivery and share success stories then it’s hard to keep the momentum going. To make delivering IBA the new default rather than a flash in the pan takes planning and effort.


  1. ‘IBA direct’ evaluation shows people welcome IBA in public | Alcohol IBA blog - December 21, 2015

    […] significant potential for delivering IBA ‘direct’ to people in public spaces. Given the challenges facing IBA in other settings, this approach could offer a promising channel to reach new groups of […]

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