Calls to cut alcohol intake among sensible drinkers

By James Wilmore

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Alcohol consumption, Beer, Health care

A health chief has told MPs that a national strategy is needed to cut alcohol consumption, to ease the strain on the NHS. Professor Mike Kelly,...

A health chief has told MPs that a national strategy is needed to cut alcohol consumption, to ease the strain on the NHS.

Professor Mike Kelly, director of the public health excellence centre, for the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, said action was needed that would affect the drinking of people who regarded themselves as sensible.

"We need a national strategy that is about bringing down the overall alcohol consumption in the population as a whole, especially for people that consider themselves as sensible because that's where the problem tends to build," he said.

Kelly was speaking during a parliamentary health committee inquiry into alcohol.

Earlier he said the NHS needed to recognise alcohol as a "major priority" and the problem was "potentially changeable".

"It's not an inevitable juggernaut that is in some sense unstoppable," Kelly said.

Dr Lynne Owens, a consultant nurse at Liverpool Primary Care Trust, said 70 per cent of A&E admissions were alcohol-related in Liverpool during weekends.

But later she said tackling "price promotions" in city centres was crucial because "they impact on the whole healthcare system".

In the next evidence session of the inquiry, next Thursday (May 14), a representative from Tesco will sit down with delegates from the British Beer & Pub Association, the Campaign for Real Ale and the Wine and Spirit Trade Association.

Related topics: Legislation

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