Special force to tackle alcohol hotspots

10 June, 2008

A national alcohol support team will be set up by the government to help towns with the worst alcohol-related health records.

The move is part of package of broader measures announced by health minister Alan Johnson to deal with geographical inequalities in healthcare provision across the country.

A government document outlining the measures says access to specialist treatment for alcohol-related problems varies from one in 13 problem drinkers receiving treatment in London to one in 102 in the north east of England.

The document also pledges to “reinforce NHS action through social marketing campaigns and wider community action to support tougher enforcement on under-age sales”.

Between five and 10 primary trust areas will be able to bid for extra funding to improve alcohol-related treatment.

Johnson said: “We need to recognise and accept that health inequalities are everyone’s business – not just an issue for the NHS, but for government and society as a whole.”

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