This project, undertaken by Alcohol Concern, evaluates the impact of changes brought about by the Health and Social Care Act 2012, including the creation of Health and Wellbeing Boards (HWBs) and Clinical Commissioning Groups, on alcohol. It will test two contrasting hypotheses: firstly, that alcohol treatment services are likely to see cuts due to the severe financial pressures on local authorities, heightened by the fact that alcohol treatment services are not mandated services for local authorities. Secondly, the more positive view that, because the total costs of alcohol harm to both local government and the acute sector are so significant, greater priority is likely to be attached to alcohol resulting in greater investment in alcohol measures, particularly in the prevention agenda.
Many of the organisations that will play a key role are still in the process of forming such as Public Health England, and this research will serve to raise awareness at an early stage about potential problems. It will enable the alcohol field to understand the effects of the changes and undertake any necessary lobbying or advocacy arising from the findings. The research will also make an important contribution to wider understanding of effect that ‘localism’ (one of the defining principles of the Act) has had on the alcohol field.
Project team: Alcohol Concern
This study will conclude in 2015.