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."
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The Health Committee published its Government Alcohol Strategy report on 19 July 2012 http://www.parliament.uk/healthcom