Government publish response to the Health Select Committee inquiry on the Alcohol Strategy


The Government has published its response to the House of Commons Health Select Committee inquiry on the Government’s Alcohol Strategy.

The Committee gave a positive welcome overall to the Government’s Alcohol Strategy and it welcomed the decision to introduce a minimum unit price for alcohol.

The 4 key recommendations from the report are:

  1. The Committee shares concerns about the social impact of binge drinking but we believe it is also important to ensure that the Government’s strategy recognises and responds to the evidence of an increasing health impact of excessive alcohol consumption
  2. Alcohol misuse affects a large number of people. The current annual death rate from alcohol-related conditions is more than three times that for deaths in road accidents, and the cost to the NHS of treating such conditions is around 3% of its annual budget. The Government’s strategy is a welcome attempt to address some of these problems in a coherent way
  3. The establishment of Public Health England provides an important opportunity to analyse the true public health impact of alcohol consumption and adopt a package of policy responses which is evidence-based, as well as being carefully calibrated and targeted
  4. The main focus of the strategy is the need to address public order issues. We agree that these are important, but we believe that the health impact of the misuse of alcohol is more insidious and pervasive; this report therefore focuses on ways in which those harms to health can be addressed.

The Government will consult on the level of minimum unit price and on other proposals set out in the Strategy during the autumn.


Government Response to the House of Commons Health Select Committee Report of Session 2010-12: Government’s Alcohol Strategy (PDF). HMSO, Cm 8439, 17 Sep 2012.

Government Response to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee Report of Session 2010–12: Alcohol Guidelines (PDF). HMSO, Cm 8329, Mar 2012.

The Government’s Alcohol Strategy (PDF). HM Government, Cm 8336, Mar 2012.

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Andre Tomlin

André Tomlin is an Information Scientist with 20 years experience working in evidence-based healthcare. He's worked in the NHS, for Oxford University and since 2002 as Managing Director of Minervation Ltd, a consultancy company who do clever digital stuff for charities, universities and the public sector. Most recently André has been the driving force behind the Mental Elf and the National Elf Service; an innovative digital platform that helps professionals keep up to date with simple, clear and engaging summaries of evidence-based research. André is a Trustee at the Centre for Mental Health and an Honorary Research Fellow at University College London Division of Psychiatry. He lives in Bristol, surrounded by dogs, elflings and lots of woodland!

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