Follow through on alcohol policy UK Govt!

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

6 thoughts on “Follow through on alcohol policy UK Govt!

  1. hear hear. I am still completely gobsmacked that the treatment available for alcohol dependence is this country is so widely at variance with that of nicotine dependence. and that there is no consideration whatsover of public health in granting alcohol licences?! what the what?!

    it’s GOT to get better. I hardly see how it can get any worse – unless schools actually give out alcopops, like we used to get free milk back in my day…xx

  2. What Prim said!
    Heard something on the radio today, a minister proposing on the spot fines for people who are drunk and abusive in A&E. All in favour of abusive and violent behaviour being prosecuted – whatever the cause / motivation behind it – but I can’t see that a punitive approach to people with alcohol problems will solve anything. You can fine someone, lock them up, if they have an addiction, they will continue along the same path. Just to echo your thoughts and those of Primrose above, I would *love* to see more support for people trying to deal with alcohol problems, plus more efforts within the health service to identify such problems.
    Interesting post 🙂 xx

    1. Completely agree MTM – law and order is not the approach to a medical issue, that is if you have the disease of addiction where you end up in A&E then how does this help? Incarceration has been the answer in the US and now they have 2.2 million people imprisoned, 80% who have a substance abuse problem 🙁 That’s not to say that I condone abusive and violent behaviour towards A&E staff being tolerated xx

    1. Hey ATS 🙂 Indeed but if they increased access to services beyond that they would have to admit there is a real problem with booze in this country …..

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