Solihull MP Caroline Spelman speaks about Alcohol Awareness

The West Midlands has a rising issue in which is often neglected in conversations on both a localised and regional area. Public Health England has reported the West Midlands to be one of the worst regions in England when it comes to alcohol related illnesses and death. It reported during the 2016 period that the region’s people lost 699 years of life directly due to alcohol related conditions, this is substantially greater than the national average of 624.

With this in mind, one area has consistently been similar to the national averages, and that is Solihull; but as alcohol related mortality rates increase this may be at risk. We spoke to Conservative MP Caroline Spelman about her ongoing campaign in Solihull to raise awareness about the dangers associated with alcohol and substance abuse. This is what she had to say.

Q: In relation to Solihull how important is the promotion of this campaign and what does it mean for the local community. 

A: Smoking and the consumption of too much alcohol are among the most significant contributors to poorer health and wellbeing in my constituency and evidence shows that this is a more significant problem in the most deprived wards.

 Whilst most people who drink alcohol in Solihull do so responsibly, a significant number of the Borough’s population drink more than they realise and we are seeing a direct impact upon health with more and more people being admitted to hospital with alcohol related conditions each year.

 For that reason, I believe that the annual ‘alcohol awareness week’ campaign presents an excellent opportunity to raise awareness of the dangers of consuming too much alcohol too often and to help signpost people to the free support services that have been made available by the local authority, in partnership with charities and the NHS trust, to help people deal with alcohol dependency and addiction.

Q: Do you believe enough people are aware of the dangers of excessive drinking?

A: In my constituency, the levels of alcohol related health problems are increasing year on year and affect a wide cross section of our communities and contribute to health inequalities in the borough. I am proud to support alcohol awarenessweek’s local campaign as I believe that too few people are aware of the detrimental impact that irresponsible alcohol consumption can have.


Q: How is this campaign important to Caroline as an MP?

A: Solihull has a track record of providing good quality alcohol and drug treatment services. The most effective way to deal with this problem is early intervention but the fact remains that a substantial proportion of those who could benefit from treatments are not always aware that they have a problem or do not know what treatment is available. Recent reports into health and wellbeing across my constituency show that there is still health and wellbeing inequality. We have already made good progress locally on improving the health of residents in the most deprived wards but in order to further tackle this issue, campaigns such as Alcohol Awarenessweek which help to educate people on the dangers of alcohol are really important.


Henry Calvert

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