City’s alcohol plan under review

People in Liverpool are being asked for their thoughts on how to reduce the harm caused by alcohol.

Over the next six weeks residents have the opportunity to comment on a range of issues, including alcohol pricing and the support available for those with drinking problems.

These and a range of other subjects are being reviewed in a new five-year alcohol plan, which has been developed by a partnership which includes NHS Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Liverpool City Council.

People can share their views and read the more about the draft plan at www.liverpoolccg.nhs.uk/whatdoyouthink between now and the end of October. Visitors to the website can also use an interactive map to highlight areas of the city where there are particular issues with alcohol, as well as places where there are positive things happening for people with drinking problems.

A report by Public Health England estimates that alcohol misuse costs Liverpool more than £200 million per year, with the burden felt by the NHS, police, licensing, employers and social services. The impact on individuals and families is harder to calculate, but it’s thought that thousands of children locally are living in homes where people drink at potentially harmful levels.

Dr Fiona Ogden-Forde, a GP and a member of the CCG’s Governing Body, said: “We know that alcohol misuse is a problem across our communities, affecting people from a range of backgrounds, and we want to make sure that our plans really get to the heart of the problem.

“This isn’t about trying to stop people enjoying alcohol altogether; we want to promote sensible consumption, where people understand about the impact that drinking too much can have on their health and wellbeing, and are able to make an informed choice.

“When someone does need help in relation to their drinking, we want to make sure that the right services are in place to support them.

“This is an important opportunity to help shape our approach to an issue which impacts on so many areas of the city’s cultural and social life. We hope that as many people as possible will take the opportunity to comment on it and make their voice heard.”

The alcohol plan focusses on five keys areas:

– Preventing people from having problems with alcohol – Changing attitudes
– Treatment and support – Ensuring people in need of support can get the treatment they need
– Social problems from excessive alcohol – Addressing alcohol-related abuse, anti-social behaviour and crime
– Supporting children, young people and families
– Control – Influencing how easy and cheap it is to buy alcohol

People can find more information about alcohol levels and reducing the amount they drink at www.fewerunits.co.uk