Bristol Alcohol Harm Reduction Strategy
Prior to the strategy's launch various strands of work were taking place in Bristol to reduce the harm caused by alcohol misuse. The strategy and action plan was developed to co-ordinate this effort and place these initiatives within the context of a number of important policies and guidelines.
Consequently the strategy is underpinned by five key themes that relate closely to areas of the Choosing Health White Paper and the Alcohol Harm Reduction Strategy for England:
- Better education and communication
- Identification and treatment
- Alcohol-related crime and disorder
- Supply and industry responsibilities
The strategy provides detailed objectives for each of these areas. It has also incorporated all relevant recommendations from the Health Scrutiny Commission's Report 'Moving from the margins to the centre?'
NHS Bristol, Avon and Somerset Constabulary, Bristol City Council, United Bristol Healthcare Trust (UBHT), Bristol Chamber of Commerce, Business In The Community, Federation of Small Businesses, Department for Work and Pensions, South West of England Regional Development Agency
March 2007 is ongoing
To bring together all strands of alcohol harm reduction work and place them within the context of a number of recent important policies and guidelines.
Identification and Treatment
- Make sure that those with alcohol problems are identified and referred to the appropriate services
- Make sure that appropriate treatment is available
- Provide scope for working with families and prevent further damage and increase of risk factors for children
- Ensure that treatment for vulnerable groups covers all their related needs and adequate care is available
Better Education and Communication
- Make the 'sensible drinking' message easier to understand and apply
- Target campaigns at those most at risk, including binge and chronic drinkers
- Provide better information for consumers, both on products and at the point of sale
- Provide alcohol education and related skills in schools and community settings
- Provide preventative initiatives, particularly to promote protective factors
- Provide more support and advice for employers
- Pursue concept of local restriction on advertising alcohol/local code of practice to control advertising messages
Alcohol-related crime and disorder
Alcohol-related crime and disorder
- Reduce problems caused by drinking in town and city centres by clearly defining the shared responsibilities of individuals, the drinks industry and government
- Develop a local licensing strategy
- Tackle underage drinking by greater enforcement of existing laws, improving information available to young people and encouraging provision of alternative activities
- Tackle alcohol-related repeat offending
- Better Identification and referral of victims and perpetrators of domestic violence who have alcohol problems
- Monitor whether additional action is needed in relation to drink-driving
- Understand the scale of the problems across age/sex/geographical spectrum
1 x FT Alcohol Strategy Manager
Background to strategy
Prior to the strategy's launch further work needed to be done to relate national figures to the Bristol population to more accurately assess the levels of need in the area. Indeed, one of the strategy's key recommendations was that a systematic needs assessment should be carried out in Bristol. A health needs assessment has since been completed by Bristol PCT overseen by the Alcohol Strategy Group.
Nevertheless, the development of the strategy was informed by background data. Applying the findings of the Department of Health's Alcohol Needs Assessment Research Project to the population of Bristol using the 2001 Census data identified a number of issues locally.
In the adult population it was estimated that
- 38% of males in Bristol had an alcohol use disorder
- 32% displayed hazardous/harmful alcohol use and 6% alcohol dependence
- 16% of females to have an alcohol use disorder
- 15% displayed hazardous/harmful alcohol use and 2% alcohol dependence
If national estimates of alcohol use disorders in young people were mapped using the 2001 census data it estimated that there were over 18,000 young people (16-24) with hazardous/harmful alcohol use and over 4,000 young people with alcohol dependence.
The strategy's development began in June 2006. Bristol PCT had highlighted alcohol as an important area of work for public health and was keen to produce a local response to the Alcohol Harm Reduction Strategy for England (2004). The idea was welcomed by partners in the city council and the Safer Bristol Partnership, who recognised the importance of the piece of work.
The Safer Bristol Partnership setup a multi-agency Alcohol Strategy Group to lead on the strategy's development. This group met monthly and produced a series of drafts which were put out for consultation between November 2006 and March 2007.
The final version of the strategy was approved and launched in March 2007, and the group identified the need for an Alcohol Strategy Manager to oversee and co-ordinate the strategy's implementation. The PCT appointed this post in September 2007 and funded the role through non-recurring funding for financial year 07/08. For financial year 2008/2009 the Alcohol Strategy Manager position was included in the Local Delivery Planning process. This led to funding being secured from the 'Choosing Health' budget.
In April 2008, the strategy was in the process of being revised to reflect the latest available guidance and the findings of the 'Alcohol Health Needs Assessment for Bristol' that was published in February 2008.
Bristol PCT has funded the Alcohol Strategy Manager post.
Links to projects
- Bristol Alcohol Harm Reduction Strategy (pdf - 239Kb)
A copy of the final strategy
One of the strategy's recommendations was that a systematic needs assessment should be conducted within Bristol. It recommended that this piece of work should have a broad focus whilst also ensuring that the needs of particular groups are addressed (for example young people).
This recommendation led to the Alcohol Strategy Group overseeing the 'Alcohol Health Needs Assessment for Bristol'. Bristol PCT led on this project and the findings were published in February 2008.
Monitoring and evaluation
The Action Plan is monitored through the Alcohol Strategy Group and evaluation is built in to pilot work.
Katie Porter - Alcohol Strategy Manager
Katie.firstname.lastname@example.org, 0117 900 3440