Alcoholic Drinks: Misuse

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 29th October 2019.

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Photo of Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Lords

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to prevent alcohol harm and reduce health inequalities.

Photo of Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Lords

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the publication of the Prevention green paper in July, what steps they plan to take to address and prevent alcohol harm.

Photo of Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Lords

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of alcohol on health, and health inequalities; and what plans they have to prevent alcohol harm.

Photo of Baroness Blackwood of North Oxford Baroness Blackwood of North Oxford The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

The Government is committed to tackling health harms from alcohol and to support the most vulnerable at risk from alcohol misuse. The Prevention Green Paper Advancing our health: prevention in the 2020s outlines how we will help people moderate their drinking by working with industry to deliver a significant increase in the availability of alcohol-free and low-alcohol products by 2025. The Government will engage with industry and other stakeholders around delivering this objective.

Lower socioeconomic status is associated with higher mortality for alcohol-attributable causes, despite lower socioeconomic groups often reporting lower levels of consumption. As part of the NHS Long Term Plan, we are establishing specialist Alcohol Care Teams in hospitals with the highest rates of alcohol harm. It is estimated that this will prevent 50,000 admissions over five years. Local authorities will also receive over £3 billion in 2019/20 to be used exclusively on public health including alcohol treatment services. Public Health England is supporting NHS England’s tobacco and alcohol commissioning for quality and innovation scheme, which encourages hospitals to screen all inpatients about their alcohol use and offer appropriate interventions.

The UK Chief Medical Officers issued Low Risk Drinking Guidelines in 2016 so that people could make informed choices about their own drinking and the Government has worked with industry to ensure information on the health harms of alcohol are printed clearly on the labelling of alcoholic drinks.

The Government has also made funding of £6 million available to support children who live with an alcohol dependent parent which will address the inequalities facing this vulnerable group.

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