Back­ing for a min­i­mum price for al­co­hol

Hinckley Times - - LETTERS -

HEALTH bosses, politi­cians and po­lice in Le­ices­ter­shire are back­ing calls to put a min­i­mum price on al­co­hol sold in Eng­land.

The of­fi­cials have signed a let­ter urg­ing the Gov­ern­ment to in­tro­duce min­i­mum unit pric­ing.

Mem­bers of Le­ices­ter City Coun­cil’s health and well­be­ing board, who signed the let­ter at a meet­ing, hope that in­tro­duc­ing the charge will mean fewer al­co­hol-re­lated deaths and hos­pi­tal ad­mis­sions in the city.

Deputy city mayor Coun­cil­lor Adam Clarke, who chairs the board, has writ­ten to Home Sec­re­tary Sa­jid Javid to ask him to take the step.

Coun Clarke said: “Tar­get­ing those con­sum­ing harm­ful amounts of al­co­hol is key, as cur­rently about 4 per cent of the pop­u­la­tion are drink­ing just un­der a third of all the al­co­hol con­sumed in the coun­try.

“A min­i­mum unit price of 50p per unit would re­duce al­co­hol con­sump­tion among some of the most vul­ner­a­ble, with­out hav­ing a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on mod­er­ate drinkers.”

Pub­lic Health Eng­land has es­ti­mated that over 20 years, a 50p min­i­mum unit price per unit of al­co­hol could re­duce health­care costs by £1.3 bil­lion. Univer­sity Hospi­tals of Le­ices­ter NHS Trust, Le­ices­ter­shire Part­ner­ship Trust, Le­ices­ter­shire Fire and Res­cue Ser­vice, East Mid­lands Am­bu­lance Ser­vice, NHS Le­ices­ter Clin­i­cal Com­mis­sion­ing Group, Le­ices­ter­shire Po­lice and lead­ing city doc­tors have all signed the let­ter and pledged their sup­port.

Lord (Willy) Bach, po­lice and crime com­mis­sioner for Le­ices­ter­shire, has also signed the let­ter.

He said: “I whole­heart­edly sup­port this move and will most def­i­nitely add my name to the let­ter to the Home Sec­re­tary.

“I have been work­ing with the city coun­cil and other part­ners to ad­dress the prob­lems caused by al­co­hol mis­use and feel that this would be an­other tool in the box.”

Al­lis­ter Grant, a liver spe­cial­ist and con­sul­tant at Univer­sity Hospi­tals of Le­ices­ter NHS Trust, said: “Al­co­hol liver dis­ease-re­lated death is one of the big­gest causes of death in our com­mu­nity for pa­tients in their 40s and 50s.

“Dam­age to the liver starts with ex­ces­sive drink­ing of al­co­hol many years be­fore the development of cir­rho­sis and liver fail­ure.

“Our binge drink­ing cul­ture in the UK and the prac­tice of pre-load­ing with cheap al­co­hol be­fore you go out for an evening un­doubt­edly makes the sit­u­a­tion worse.

“Min­i­mum unit pric­ing is an im­por­tant tool in curb­ing al­co­hol con­sump­tion and is one of many ways that we can re­duce the harm done by al­co­hol.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.