MPs back QOF changes to target alcohol problems

Incentives for the early detec-tion and intervention of alcohol-related ill health should be provided in the QOF, according to a report by MPs.

Alcohol-related illness a priority
Alcohol-related illness a priority

The Health Select Committee's report suggests the current state of alcohol treatment services is 'dire' and a 'significant disincentive' for primary care services to detect alcohol-related issues at an early stage.

It therefore suggests that early detection and intervention should be built into existing healthcare screening initiatives and incentives for doing this should be provided in the QOF.

Dr Laurence Buckman, GPC chairman, said: 'Including a measure for alcohol consump-tion in the QOF would need to be part of a much wider range of measures including minimum pricing, for example, if the government is serious about tackling alcohol misuse.

'PCTs also need to be encouraged to make commissioning alcohol services a priority.'

The report also warns that the drinks industry and supermar-kets hold more power over government alcohol policies than health professionals.

It backs tougher regulation of alcohol promotion and a man-datory labelling scheme for alcoholic drinks.

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