Understanding alcohol impact

Coun Lesley Spillard.
Coun Lesley Spillard.

A partnership that looks after the health and wellbeing of North Tyneside’s residents has been looking into the impact of alcohol.

Members of the Health and Wellbeing Board took time out to visit different organisations and services that deal with alcohol-related problems.

It included joining police on a patrol of South Parade, in Whitley Bay; visiting a treatment centre; looking at therapies designed to help those with an addiction; participating in a meeting of a support group and spending time with families affected by alcohol misuse.

The recent event is also part of wider work the Health and Wellbeing Board is doing to look at the impact of alcohol while also considering the large role alcohol plays in society as a source of pleasure and enjoyment, and the businesses and jobs it creates.

Coun Lesley Spillard, who chairs the board as part of her responsibilities as cabinet member for Public Health, said: “We’re running the three action days on the specific themes to give members the chance to see how different organisations run and to talk to patients, families and carers – this will then help to inform the action we take.”

“The recent Alcohol Action Day was extremely useful and gave us an opportunity to look at the key services from a different perspective.

“By spending time with the various groups and organisations, we gained a greater understanding of the issues and challenges in North Tyneside.

“The impact of alcohol has huge consequences for our health, our families and friends, our finances and our public services, which is why it’s one of our main priorities for the year.

“I look forward to discussing all the findings from the day at our next board meeting, which will enable us to galvanise support and shape the action that we take locally.”

Dr John Matthews, Clinical Chair of NHS North Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), added: “Reducing the harm caused by the misuse of alcohol is one of the biggest challenges for us in North Tyneside. As a GP, I see this harm at first hand and how, directly or indirectly, it affects people of all ages and in all walks of life.

“Coming together at the Alcohol Action Day has helped us to see how different organisations across the NHS, social care, voluntary sector and police force all have a role to play, and where improvements need to be made to services.”

The Health and Wellbeing Board brings together the local authority, health providers, patient representatives and the voluntary and community sector to agree goals and lead change.

It meets regularly throughout the year - details of the next meeting can be found at www.northtyneside.gov.uk