Sir Robert Syms, MP for Poole, recently visited the alcohol care and treatment services team at Poole Hospital and saw first-hand “the hard work the alcohol treatment team are doing to help people with their recovery from addiction”.
This visit was organised by Graeme White, head of addiction services at the hospital, to discuss addiction challenges in the Poole area. Through visiting the service Sir Robert learned about what can be done to help minimise the chance of addiction and what other treatment services could help people in need of support.
In addition, Sir Robert heard that the government needs to act quickly to reduce alcohol harm, for example by providing more funding for effective alcohol treatment, driving education and boosting community support.
Speaking at the visit, Sir Robert said:
“It was great to visit Poole Hospital and see the hard work the alcohol treatment team are doing to help people with their recovery from addiction.
“I was especially grateful to be introduced to John McBride, a former senior lecturer at Bournemouth University, who was kind enough to relate his experiences in overcoming alcohol addiction with the help of the unit.
“Education plays a key role and we need to make sure that the public are aware of the dangers of alcohol and other drugs. We need to spread awareness of this issue.”
Graeme White, Head of Addiction Services, said:
“We’re delighted that Sir Robert found the time in his busy schedule to visit us.
“Alcohol has become one the three biggest lifestyle risk factors for disease and death in the UK.
“To help change that, we need to make sure people are better informed about the dangers of alcohol consumption.
“Our research shows that nationally 25 – 30 % of hospital attendances and admissions are related to alcohol use, resulting in hospital beds occupied by patients whose health conditions are attributable to their use of alcohol.
“We hope that following the visit Sir Robert can help us build awareness of all the work that is being carried out in this sector, and what more can be done to help those who need us and work towards harm reduction.”
Photo: Graeme White, head of addictions;_Sir Robert Syms, MP; John McBride, service user; Sally Chalk, specialist addiction nurse; Tuesday Levy, assertive outreach alcohol worker