Nicola responded to an emotional debate in Westminster Hall about alcohol harm, where MPs of all parties shared their own experience of alcohol addiction and the experiences of children with an alcoholic parent.
Nicola knows that the majority of people who consume alcohol do so at low-risk levels and as a pleasurable part of their social lives, however the public health burden of alcoholism, including its health, social and economic harms, is wide-ranging. By 2018, about 60,000 doctors will have been trained to recognise, assess and understand the management of alcohol use and its associated health and social problems.
Those speaking in the debate powerfully illustrated the devastating impact that addiction and alcohol misuse can have on a person’s health; their family and local communities, as well as, of course, the health and social care systems and wider society. Nicola was visibly moved hearing this experiences, and promised to produce a new strategy to help the children of alcoholics working with members from all parties.
She also stated that the NHS is critical to the prevention of alcohol harms, and Ministers are working to incentivise NHS providers to invest in interventions to reduce risky behaviours and prevent ill health from alcohol consumption.
You can read a full transcript of the debate here: Alcohol Harm Debate 2nd February
Nicola says: Our NHS staff, local authority staff and a number of brilliant charities are already working hard to make a difference in this area. I am committed to working with Members and stakeholders to strengthen the information, support and, if necessary, treatment given to people to reduce the harms of alcohol misuse, as well as providing greater support to those children with an alcoholic parent.