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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

College responds to the Health Select Committee's report on the Government's Alcohol Strategy

Embargoed until 19 July 2012

The Royal College of Psychiatrists has welcomed the House of Commons Health Committee’s report on the UK Government’s Alcohol Strategy.

Dr Peter Rice, Chair of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in Scotland, and Dr Owen Bowden-Jones, Chair of the College's Faculty of Addictions Psychiatry, said: "We share the Health Committee’s view that Government’s strategy should have greater emphasis on the health effects, including mental health effects, of alcohol and that effective action on prevention and treatment will improve public health as well as public safety.

"The Committee’s support for minimum pricing, a long standing RCPsych policy, is welcomed. While the call for further research and analysis of the likely effect of minimum price is valid, the College believes that it is clear that a properly implemented and monitored  minimum price policy - with a review and adjustment mechanism - will benefit public health. The introduction of this should not be delayed.

"Much of the data which the Committee calls for on the effect of price changes on consumer behaviour  is already held by producers and retailers, and the College calls on the Government to establish a mechanism by which this knowledge can be shared in the interests of public health.

"The Committee supports the Department of Health’s plans to provide an evidence base to inform the development of alcohol services. We expect this guidance to highlight the strong evidence base supporting screening and brief intervention, particularly in primary care. The College believes that there is also a need to provide guidance on the capacity of services. The Health Committee described the state of alcohol services in England as 'dire' in 2010 and we see no evidence that this situation has changed."

For further information, please contact:
Sarah Nevins
Press & Social Media Officer
Telephone: 020 3701 2543
Claire McLoughlin
Media & Communications Manager 
Telephone: 020 3701 2544
Out of hours contact number: 07860 755896



The Health Committee published its Government Alcohol Strategy report on 19 July 2012


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