Statement in response to Sir Ian Gilmore’s resignation as adviser to Public Health England

Statement / comment
11 September 2018

Dr Adrian James, RCPsych Registrar said:

“The College is a member of the Alcohol Health Alliance and shares the concerns which led to the AHA chair, Sir Ian Gilmore resigning from his position with Public Health England because of their new links with the drinks industry funded organisation Drinkaware. These types of partnerships have not been effective in alcohol and related fields such as tobacco and we urge Public Health England to reconsider this arrangement.

"The College reinforces our support for the UK Chief Medical Officers’ guideline of 2016. This was the result of an extensive and high quality academic process and remains the best advice for alcohol consumers to keep their risk of harm from alcohol, including to their mental health, at a low level.

"The process of communication of the guideline to the public should include all of the guideline elements on binge drinking, pregnancy, alcohol free days and overall consumption. The alcohol industry has a role in the communication of this guidance, for instance, through product labels but Government needs to ensure its free from industry influence.

"As well as informing individual consumers, public campaigns also have role in building public support for effective alcohol policy such as controlling the price the alcohol, reducing the drink drive limit and ensuring that the licensing process protects public health and welfare.”

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