A facility which allows people who have become vulnerable due to excessive drinking to be treated has been launched.
The Alcohol Recovery Centre (ARC) has been established to meet the needs of those patients who have impaired judgement due to excessive drinking. A similar pilot ran successfully last October and now additional funding means a long-term project can be launched.
It helps police and the emergency services by freeing up resources. The ARC achieves this by allowing those on the to carry out policing or health care duties, whilst it treats non-emergency cases of excessive drinking.
Police officers and pubs and clubs contact the emergency services who then dispatch the ARC's treatment vehicle to attend incidents.
The ARC was launched on Friday, December 13.
It is a multi-agency partnership between Avon and Somerset Constabulary, South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, Bristol City Council, NHS Bristol Clinical Commissioning Group, and National Licensed Trade Association (NLTA).
Chief Inspector Catherine Johnstone, said: "I am delighted the ARC is being run again following a successful pilot.
"We want to ensure people are safe and don't become victims of crime as a result of being vulnerable through drinking excessive amounts of alcohol.
"It is about responsible drinking whilst enjoying yourself in a fantastic city such as Bristol. The ARC demonstrates how partnership working can deliver quality integrated services."
Peter Brown, South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, said: "The Trust is delighted to be playing a key role in the operation of this valuable facility in conjunction with our partners.
"It is important that our patients receive the right care in the right place at the right time and the ARC provides us with a safe and appropriate environment to treat those who are suffering from alcohol related illness following excess consumption.
"We wish everyone a happy and healthy festive period and a safe one too."
Mayor, George Ferguson, said: "Whilst Christmas is a time of celebration and indulgence it is important to drink responsibly.
"Bristol city centre has been awarded the Purple Flag for the last four years in recognition of having a well-managed night time leisure economy.
"The key components of the scheme are that centres are required to demonstrate that they are safe and secure, have strong private and public partnerships and are an attractive destination of choice.
The setting up of the ARC is a significant part of the jigsaw and will provide a valuable contribution to the of residents and visitors to Bristol city centre at night."
Matt Seaward, of the NLTA, said: "The ARC provides an alternative to A & E departments for patients who have had too much to drink, helping free up hospital beds. Nationally, having an ARC in city centres can reduce admissions into A & E wards by a significant amount.
Similarly, the ARC allows the police to be more visible on the streets of Bristol city centre during a busy festive period."
Martin Jones, of NHS Bristol Clinical Commissioning Group Chair, said: "Working in collaboration with our partners and integrating services has been important to the success of this initiative. The ARC will provide a care setting for patients who need to receive support and treatment for several hours in a safe and suitable environment."