Progress made in local fight against alcohol harms

Published June 8, 2015 at 13:52

New figures released by Public Health England have shown that the borough’s public health programmes are continuing to make headway at reducing harms caused by alcohol in Blackburn with Darwen.

The figures released nationally for all local authorities in England reveal that the headline measure of alcohol-related hospital admissions in Blackburn with Darwen is gradually decreasing for men, and for women it has closed the gap on the national average. There were 474 admissions per 100,000 women in 2013-14, compared to 525 in the North West as a whole and 475 nationally.

Over half of the local authorities in England saw a slight increase in alcohol-related admissions, so the figures mean that Blackburn with Darwen is bucking the national trend.

The Council and partners have been working from a new alcohol strategy for the past year to try and tackle the local harms caused by alcohol misuse. It was developed in conjunction with the Clinical Commissioning Group, emergency services and voluntary community and faith sector providers.

Blackburn with Darwen Council has also recently awarded a new contract for providing substance misuse treatment and prevention services in Blackburn with Darwen to national charity CRI.

As of April 2015, the leading drug and alcohol charity has been working in partnership with the Council to deliver services and easy access support to young people and adults across the borough.

Councillor Brian Taylor, assistant executive member for health and adult social care, said:

This shows that the steps we are taking to control alcohol related harm for residents are delivering improvements and reducing hospital demand.

However the Government need to do more.  We will always look at and support ways to control the widespread availability of cheap alcohol both nationally and in our own borough.

Dominic Harrison, Director of Public Health for Blackburn with Darwen Council, said:

This shows how effective public health and prevention services can be at improving health and avoiding hospital admissions. However the key drivers of alcohol related harm in any community are cost and availability – the cheaper and more available alcohol is the more harm it will do to communities.

Dr Chris Clayton, Clinical Chief Officer at NHS Blackburn with Darwen CCG, said:

The hospital and GP primary care services in Blackburn with Darwen have been working very hard over the past two years to ensure we improve the diagnosis and referral of people with alcohol related health problems – it is great to see these efforts having such a positive effect on the wellbeing of our patients.

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