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Written Question
Alcoholic Drinks: Misuse
Tuesday 20th February 2024

Asked by: Rachael Maskell (Labour (Co-op) - York Central)

Question to the Department of Health and Social Care:

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if she will have discussions with the Secretary of State for the Home Department on ensuring a cross-departmental approach to tackling alcohol harm in (a) domestic and (b) community settings.

Answered by Andrea Leadsom - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)

The Government is committed to tackling alcohol-related harms, with a strong programme of work underway to address alcohol-related issues and the impact they have on individuals and communities.

The Department regularly engages with the Home Office on tackling alcohol harms. This includes the establishment of Alcohol Care Teams in the 25% of acute care hospitals in England with the greatest need, as well as improvements to the drug and alcohol treatment system through the 10-year Drug Strategy.

The Home Office has focused on improving local intelligence, establishing effective partnerships and equipping the police and local authorities with the right powers to take effective actions against alcohol related crime. They have updated and piloted training material aimed on frontline professionals to highlight the impact alcohol misuse can have where domestic abuse is present.


Written Question
Alcoholic Drinks: Misuse
Tuesday 20th February 2024

Asked by: Rachael Maskell (Labour (Co-op) - York Central)

Question to the Department of Health and Social Care:

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether she has had discussions with the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities on the potential impact of (a) licensing hours and (b) concentration of licensed premises on levels of alcohol (i) use and (ii) harm.

Answered by Andrea Leadsom - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)

The Department will continue to work closely with colleagues across the Government to review how public health teams and local authorities in England use their existing licensing powers, and to identify any opportunities for improvement to address alcohol misuse and reduce alcohol related harm.


Written Question
Alcoholic Drinks: Misuse
Tuesday 20th February 2024

Asked by: Rachael Maskell (Labour (Co-op) - York Central)

Question to the Department of Health and Social Care:

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if she will commission a report into alcohol use and alcohol harm in England.

Answered by Andrea Leadsom - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)

I refer the hon. Member to the answers I gave on 20 December 2023 to Question UIN 7059 and 17 January 2024 to Question UIN 9013.


Written Question
Alcoholic Drinks: Misuse
Tuesday 20th February 2024

Asked by: Rachael Maskell (Labour (Co-op) - York Central)

Question to the Department of Health and Social Care:

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether her Department has set targets relating to the reduction of alcohol (a) use and (b) harm.

Answered by Andrea Leadsom - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 8 January 2024 to Question UIN 7367.


Written Question
Flood Control
Monday 19th February 2024

Asked by: Rachael Maskell (Labour (Co-op) - York Central)

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs:

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how much his Department has invested in flood resilience in each of the last five years.

Answered by Robbie Moore - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

The Environment Agency counts properties flooded during all flood events, with final numbers verified by local flood authorities. Additionally, the Environment Agency looks at long term national trends, rates of optimal spend, but only calculates the economic costs of an actual flood in occasional circumstances due to the significant time and cost associated with undertaking the reports. Therefore, data is not collated on an annual basis.

Since 2010, there are costs of flood reports for the major events of winter 2013/14 and winter 2015/16. It is estimated the 2013/14 winter floods caused approximately £1.3 billion of damage and the 2015/16 winter floods caused approximately £1.6 billion of damage.


Written Question
Alcoholic Drinks: Sentencing
Monday 19th February 2024

Asked by: Rachael Maskell (Labour (Co-op) - York Central)

Question to the Ministry of Justice:

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he is taking to help ensure that people convicted of a crime in which alcohol was an aggravating factor are provided with harm reduction (a) support and (b) education as part of their sentence.

Answered by Edward Argar - Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)

The Ministry of Justice is committed to tackling the underlying causes of offending, including alcohol misuse, as it is crucial to reducing reoffending. Between 2011/12 and 2021/22, the overall proven reoffending rate has decreased from 31.3% to 25.2% and we are continuing taking action to drive down the reoffending rate even further.

In the community, we want to make the best use of alternatives to custody to ensure that offenders with substance misuse needs are diverted to treatment wherever appropriate. Offenders can be given an Alcohol Treatment Requirement (ATR) as part of a community sentence, and we are committed to increasing the use of these. The Department for Health and Social Care are investing £532m to increase drug and alcohol treatment and recovery places and we have recruited new Health and Justice Coordinators in every probation region to improve links between probation and local drug and alcohol treatment services.

We are also piloting three Intensive Supervision Courts where offenders will be subject to regular reviews with a judge, drug testing, incentives and sanctions.

In custody, we have recruited Drug Strategy Leads in key prisons to ensure a focus on tackling drug and alcohol misuse. Staying in treatment on release is crucial and so we are also rolling out more secure video calling technology, providing prisoners with the opportunity to engage with community treatment pre-release. We are also expanding the number of Incentivised Substance-Free Living Units where prisoners commit to remaining free of illicit drugs and alcohol, with regular drug testing and incentives. We now have over 60 of these wings across the estate and are aiming to reach up to 100 by March 2025. This will dramatically expand the number of prisoners who have access to these wings.


Written Question
Prisons: Alcoholic Drinks
Monday 19th February 2024

Asked by: Rachael Maskell (Labour (Co-op) - York Central)

Question to the Ministry of Justice:

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he is taking to address alcohol harm in prisons.

Answered by Edward Argar - Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)

The Ministry of Justice works closely with NHS England and the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) to ensure that all prisoners who need it have access to high-quality alcohol and substance misuse treatment. As part of the government’s 10-year drug strategy, DHSC has made a record £532 million of additional investment through to 2024/25 to improve drug and alcohol treatment and recovery services


The MoJ is also investing to tackle drug and alcohol misuse and engage more offenders in treatment, including recruiting Drug Strategy Leads in key prisons to coordinate a whole-system approach, and Health and Justice Coordinators in every probation region to improve links between prison and local drug and alcohol treatment services.

We are also expanding the number of Incentivised Substance-Free Living Units where prisoners commit to remaining free of illicit drugs and alcohol, with regular drug testing and incentives. We now have over 60 of these wings across the estate, and are aiming to reach up to 100 by March 2025. This will dramatically expand the number of prisoners who have access to these wings.

We are committed to tackling the supply of drugs and alcohol into prison. Our £100m Security Investment Programme completed in March 2022 and delivered 75 additional X-ray body scanners, resulting in full coverage across the closed male estate. We have also installed 84 X-ray baggage scanners at 49 sites, building on the rollout of our body scanners, drug trace detection machines and metal detection archways.


Written Question
Alcoholic Drinks: Health Education
Monday 19th February 2024

Asked by: Rachael Maskell (Labour (Co-op) - York Central)

Question to the Department of Health and Social Care:

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether she has had discussions with Cabinet colleagues on (a) reducing alcohol harm among children and (b) providing effective education for young people on that subject.

Answered by Andrea Leadsom - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)

Alcohol dependence is rare in children under the age of 18 years old, although they may be drinking problematically. Children may also experience harm associated with parental alcohol dependence. For those that do need support, the Department has allocated £532 million of additional funding through to 2024/25 to support improvements in treatment, including facilitating 5,000 more young people into age-appropriate alcohol and drug treatment.

The most effective and sustainable approach to reducing alcohol harms in young people is by giving them the best start in life, the best education possible and by keeping them safe, well and happy. Statutory guidance on relationships, sex and health education (RSHE) requires all primary and secondary school pupils to be taught the key facts and risks of alcohol use, as well as how to manage influences and pressure, and keep themselves healthy and safe. The Department has worked with the Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education Association to develop the lesson plans on alcohol and is currently commissioning an update of the resources to be published later this year. Further information is available at the following link:

https://pshe-association.org.uk/drugeducation

The Department for Education is evaluating the delivery of RSHE. The findings and recommendations will progress our Drug Strategy commitment that all children and young people are provided with effective high quality education to prevent future alcohol and drug use. Our strategy is available at the following link:


https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/629078bad3bf7f036fc492d1/From_harm_to_hope_PDF.pdf

The Government also has an information and advice service called Talk to FRANK, which aims to reduce alcohol and drug use and its harms by providing awareness to young people, parents and concerned others. Information on alcohol and its harms is available at the following link:

https://www.talktofrank.com/drug/alcohol


Written Question
Alcoholic Drinks: Misuse
Monday 19th February 2024

Asked by: Rachael Maskell (Labour (Co-op) - York Central)

Question to the Department of Health and Social Care:

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment she has made of the adequacy of the number of residential placements available for individuals who have experienced alcohol harm.

Answered by Andrea Leadsom - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)

Local authorities are responsible for assessing local need for alcohol treatment and commissioning a range of services and interventions, including the provision of residential rehabilitation to meet that need. As part of the Government’s 10-year drug strategy, we have made a record £532 million of additional investment through to 2024/25 to improve drug and alcohol treatment and recovery services. This funding is in addition to the Public Health Grant and will improve the capacity and quality of drug and alcohol treatment. 83 areas also receive funding for treatment pathways for people who sleep rough, and this funding can be used to support people into residential treatment.


Written Question
Alcoholic Drinks: Misuse
Monday 19th February 2024

Asked by: Rachael Maskell (Labour (Co-op) - York Central)

Question to the Department of Health and Social Care:

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether she is taking steps with Cabinet colleagues to target support to people with adverse childhood experiences to prevent alcohol harm.

Answered by Andrea Leadsom - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)

Evidence suggests that adverse childhood experiences are often intergenerational, and while people with adverse childhood experiences are more likely to have grown up in a household where one or both parents were alcohol dependent compared to the general population, their children are also more likely to develop alcohol problems as they get older.

This is why we are investing in vital services to be at the heart of local offers for families. Not only do these services play a pivotal role in keeping more children safe from adverse experiences, with stable loving relationships, they can also help overcome multiple, complex problems within families before they escalate.

We have committed to £1 billion of funding for programmes to improve early help support. This includes around £300 million to fund a new three-year Family Hubs and Start for Life programme. This programme, now in its second year, is delivering a step-change in outcomes for babies, children, parents and carers in 75 local authorities in England with high deprivation. This funding also includes an additional £695 million for the Supporting Families programme, which builds the resilience of vulnerable families by providing effective support for all their underlying and interconnected problems, such as addressing alcohol harms and other adverse childhood experiences.

We are investing at least £2.3 billion of additional funding a year by March 2024, compared to 2018/19, to expand and transform mental health services in England so that two million more people, including those with adverse childhood experiences, can get the mental health support that they need. We are also rolling out mental health support teams to schools and colleges across England. The Government is also investing an extra £532 million for local authorities to improve alcohol and drug treatment and recovery services through Drug Strategy funding through to 2024/25. Local authorities are encouraged to develop programmes which provide tailored support to families affected by parental alcohol and drug use with this funding.