An All Party Parliamentary Group on Alcohol Misuse (APPG) manifesto has been released, urging political parties to adopt ten key alcohol measures ahead of the 2015 election. See reports from the BBC, Guardian, Telegraph and Alcohol Concern, who researched the report.
Last year a coalition of over 70 health organisations from across the UK released an independent alcohol strategy with similar recommendations.
Earlier this year it was reported a Labour Government elected in 2015 would implement some of the same measures, including minimum unit pricing and ending sports sponsorship by alcohol companies, according to leaked documents.
These are the full ten recommendations in the report are:
1. Make reducing alcohol harms the responsibility of a single government minister with clear accountability
2. Introduce a minimum unit price for alcoholic drinks
3. Introduce public health as a fifth licensing objective, enabling local authorities to make licensing decisions based on local population health need and the density of existing outlets
4. Strengthen regulation of alcohol marketing to protect children and young people
5. Increase funding for treatment and raise access levels from 6% to 15% of problem drinkers
6. Commissioners should prioritise the delivery of Identification and Brief Advice. Identification and Brief Advice should be delivered in a wide range of different settings including health care, involving GPs routinely asking questions, and in-workplace programmes
7. Include a health warning on all alcohol labels and deliver a government-funded national public awareness campaign on alcohol-related health issues
8. For all social workers, midwives and healthcare professionals, introduce mandatory training on parental substance misuse, foetal alcohol syndrome disorder and alcohol-related domestic violence
9. Reduce the blood alcohol limit for driving in England and Wales to 50mg/100ml, starting with drivers under the age of 21
10. Introduce the widespread use of sobriety orders to break the cycle of alcohol and crime, antisocial behaviour and domestic violence
I would agree with every single one of these suggestions and add one of my own:
For the NHS to introduce and fund on an ongoing basis an Alcohol Free Service to support people who would like to reduce the amount they drink or stop completely with wider access to supportive medication, information, text messages, emails and phone calls and one on one support via a GP surgery, just like that which is available to you currently if you decide to stop smoking. Plus for QOF payments to be available to GP practices who support and provide this service.
27 days to go