Nurses call for drastic action on binge drinking
Responding to the publication of the Public Accounts Committee report, Reducing Alcohol Harm: health services in England for alcohol misuse, Dr Peter Carter, Chief Executive of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), renews the call for tighter alcohol regulation. "Nurses have said time and time again that the Government must take drastic action to stop this dire situation spiralling out of control," he said.
"In every corner of the country, nurses are faced with the devastating effects of binge drinking every day. It is an outrage that 811,000 people end up in hospital each year as a result of alcohol. As well as seriously damaging the health of those concerned, alcohol misuse drains vital resources from the already stretched NHS budget. It is staggering that binge drinking is sapping the NHS of £2.7 billion per year when many essential frontline services are struggling financially.
"With a compliance rate of just three per cent, the voluntary labelling scheme is clearly not working. The RCN is calling for the introduction of a single mandatory code to ensure that the alcohol industry does not engage in unscrupulous practices which encourage consumers to drink to excess. Better regulation of the labelling, sale and advertising of alcoholic drinks, as well as widespread education on the dangers of excessive alcohol consumption, is needed to stop this problem from spiralling even further out of control."
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