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Crewe play highlights excess alcohol strain on NHS
HEALTH chiefs in Cheshire have reiterated their support for a Government scheme to cut the price of alcohol, following a hard-hitting awareness performance staged in Crewe’s Market Shopping Centre.
The play featured a mocked up A&E unit, with actors recreating the often threatening behaviour encountered by hospital staff when attempting to treat people who have drunk too much.
North West public health network, ChaMPs, staged the event on behalf of the Cheshire and Warrington Health and Wellbeing Commission (CWHHC) – a multi-agency group comprising local authorities, hospital trusts and police and fire services.
The commission is urging people to consider the impact of cheap alcohol on public services, families, neighbourhoods and jobs.
The Government plans to introduce minimum alcohol pricing of 40p per unit. An approximate impact of the law would make a £2.99 bottle of red wine increase to £3.76. Bulk-bought strong cider costing 87p a can would almost double to £1.60.
Cheshire East Clr, Janet Clowes, chair of CHHC, explained: “We have found that minimum alcohol pricing is not something people who drink responsibly really think is a relevant issue to them. But there is a huge knock on effect from cheap alcohol that touches everybody’s lives, from draining the resources on hospitals and the police to encouraging binge drinking in younger people and the effect it has on their families.
“Evidence shows that minimum alcohol pricing will make a real difference to communities as a whole, and this is what we would like to demonstrate to people with this thought-provoking campaign.”
The cost to the NHS of treating alcohol related illnesses is around £2.7 billion every year. The cost of treating a drunk person in A&E could pay for 21 flu vaccinations or for seven visits by a district nurse to a housebound patient.