Alcohol Harm Concerns Raised by Public Accounts Committee
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) is concerned that the government is not taking alcohol harm seriously enough, following an increase in deaths and alcohol's link to 42% of violent crime.
The PAC is calling on the government to address the barriers to accessing treatment and is surprised and disappointed that there is no up-to-date research on the cost of alcohol harm for the NHS and wider society.
The government has a 10-year plan to tackle drug and alcohol-related harms, but it has not had a separate alcohol strategy since 2012.
The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) says alcohol and drug treatment services are jointly commissioned in England.
The PAC is calling for the DHSC to act on the best available evidence on preventative measures around price, availability, and marketing of alcohol.
The government has invested £27m to establish specialist Alcohol Care Teams in the 25% of hospitals in England with the highest rates of alcohol-mortality and deprivation, which is estimated to prevent 50,000 admissions over five years.
The PAC report and the issue of alcohol-related harm has caught the interest of multiple alcohol support organizations, who are calling for change.