AHA Bulletin – November 2019

November 2019

Wales to introduce minimum unit pricing in March 2020

The Welsh government will introduce a minimum unit price for alcohol of 50p from 2 March 2020.

The Public Health (Minimum Price for Alcohol) (Wales) Act 2018 will mean that it will be an offence for alcohol to be supplied below that price in Wales.

Chief medical officer for Wales, Dr Frank Atherton said: ‘We want to reduce alcohol related harm and deaths in Wales. Binge drinking a large quantity of cheap alcohol is particularly damaging on people’s health and has a huge impact on NHS resources. The introduction of an MUP aims to support the reduction of excess drinking and could help save many lives.’

Even moderate parental drinking can impact children

New findings on the impact of parental drinking on children were published in Alcohol and Alcoholism this month. Lucy Bryant, Anne Marie MacKintosh, and Professor Linda Bauld, suggest that children experience negative outcomes as a result of their parents’ alcohol use, even among moderate drinkers. The survey of almost 1,000 UK parents and their children aged 10–17 showed that 35% of children reported at least one adverse consequence – such as parents giving them less attention than usual, being put to bed later than usual, or thinking that parents argue more than normal – as a result of their parents’ drinking. Further, the study found that children of parents who reported drinking for predominantly negative motivations (such as consuming alcohol to help them cope with feelings of depression and to escape problems) were more likely to report negative outcomes.

Alcohol Action Ireland launch new strategic plan

Alcohol Action Ireland (AAI) has set out its vision, mission, values, goals and actions over the next five years in this strategic plan.

Their vision is of a society free from alcohol harm. Given the current levels of alcohol harm in Ireland there is a real urgency to maintain pressure on harmful alcohol consumption.

In order for Ireland to achieve change there is a clear need for both policy development and strong advocacy. AAI is seeking to build on its achievements in this area to establish itself as the thought leader in this space.

A copy of the plan is available.

New study shows alcohol services save NHS money

Evidence presented at the British Association of Study for the Liver (BASL) in September revealed that an innovative new service treating people who are alcohol dependent is having dramatic effects and saving the NHS money.

Pam Healy, Chief Executive of the British Liver Trust said, “The NHS Long Term Plan has recommended hospital-based alcohol care teams as one of the key interventions for preventing illness and reducing health inequalities. This new evidence suggests that this may be an excellent model for how they could deliver their services to ensure that they are integrated and truly meet the needs of patients.”

SFAAD launch new podcast

For Alcohol Awareness Week 2019, Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol and Drugs (SFAAD) launched a series of podcasts on their SoundCloud channel. Podcasts include conversations with George Charlton, Nicola Merrin and Gary Meek. The podcast also explores stories and experiences from both adults and young people.

Alcohol Action Ireland host public health symposium

This November saw the first provisions of the Public Health (Alcohol) Act become operational in Ireland. To mark that occasion, and mindful of the continuing effort required to ensure all aspects of the Act are coherently implemented, Alcohol Action Ireland arranged a symposium – David and Goliath: How can public health concerns sustain priority of government and win the battle against dominant vested interests?

The event was opened by Professor Geoffrey Shannon, Patron, Alcohol Action Ireland and heard a keynote address by Fiona Godfrey, Secretary General, of the European Public Health Alliance.

This was followed by a Panel discussion featuring contributions from: Dr Peter Rice, Marcella Corcoran Kennedy and Dr. Norah Campbell.

Alcohol Charter blogs

Thank you to everyone who wrote blogs for the Alcohol Charter blog campaign and shared them. 15 blogs were published in total, each making the case for a specific policy ask. There have been around 1,600 page views so far on the blogs.

IAS host alcohol marketing conference

Alcohol marketing: Protecting the vulnerable featured presentations that ranged from protecting youth, regulating digital alcohol marketing, challenging stereotypes, and learning about the successes and failures of campaigners in other sectors of health policy. Recordings of the presentations and further information is available

SHAAP launch new website

Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems has launched a new website. Be sure to take a look.


Alcohol-free Childhood Action Network (ACAN) meeting

Alcohol Focus Scotland
5 December 2019, Glasgow

Alcohol-free Childhood Action Network (ACAN) is a forum for all those with a passion for reducing the harm to children that comes from the alcohol use of others, the marketing and social pressures to drink and the impact of becoming a drinker at an early age.

The Scottish Government will be consulting on alcohol marketing restrictions in 2020 and this will be an initial focus for the network.

Play a part in shaping the network and identifying priority areas for action by attending the first meeting.

Find out more.

Men and Alcohol Seminar Series

Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems (SHAAP) and the Institute of Alcohol Studies (IAS) are jointly hosting a series of seminars relating to Men and Alcohol, the upcoming dates are:
Men, Alcohol and Health – January 24, 2020 – Edinburgh
Men and Alcohol: What’s Next – March 20, 2020 – London

The aim of these seminars is to bring together academics, health professionals, policy makers, media and members of the public to discuss with a critical perspective topics related to men and alcohol. The events are free of charge and open to all members of the public. 

Learn more and register.

Managing Drugs & Alcohol Problems in Primary Care Conference

30-31 January 2020, London

The RCGP and the Substance Misuse Management in General Practice are holding a joint conference for GPs, healthcare professionals and researchers interested in, and involved with the management of drug and alcohol users in primary care.

The theme for this year’s conference is Navigating in Stormy Weather. With shrinking budgets there is a greater need to meet together to share best practice, get encouragement from other areas and learn how it is still possible to provide an effective service. Confirmed speakers include Professor David Nut and Lord Charles Falconer.

Event organisers are still calling for papers, so make sure you submit yours.

Find out more.

Courses, Competitions, and Grants

The Innovation Fund

Change, Grow, Live

The innovation fund offers grants between £500 and £2500 for residents (aged 18+) or charities/not-for-profit groups looking to fund projects located within the boroughs of Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea, and Westminster.

Applications are welcomed from charities, voluntary or community group with an income of less than £100,000 per annum. The grant is available to support new and innovative ideas, but cannot be used to continue to fund projects that are ending.

The Big Lottery Fund has a number of useful documents on their website to help people plan their future projects. For more information email [email protected].