The Government has “neglected” England’s alcohol problem for too long, health professionals have warned.
Writing in The Telegraph, Kate Dun-Campbell and Adam Briggs of the Health Foundation urged the Government to follow Scotland and Wales by introducing minimum unit pricing.
In 2012, the Government proposed several alcohol-related measures, including minimum unit pricing and further regulation on alcohol licences, but they were subsequently dropped. In the decade since, alcohol-related deaths have rocketed by 50 per cent to 7,558 in 2021.
There are presently over 270,000 hospital admissions each year from alcohol-related causes in England.
Although the health professionals welcomed the Government’s recently increased funding for alcohol treatment services, they urged it to also take preventive action.
They said: “The government can no longer afford to be silent.”
Last month, Public Health Scotland (PHS) claimed that its minimum alcohol pricing has made a “positive impact on health outcomes” in Scotland.
Introduced in 2018, the Scottish Government is reviewing whether to recommend extending the minimum price of 50 pence per unit when it expires in May 2024.
The report, which will form the basis of its review, found that the measures reduced deaths caused directly by alcohol by 13.4 per cent and hospital admissions by 4.1 per cent.
But following the paper’s publication, First Minister Humza Yousaf was reported to the UK Statistics Authority over accusations its findings were “grossly misleading”.