Alcohol Demand Reduction

An update on activity and progress during quarter three 15/16 on the Reducing Alcohol Demand work stream.


As referenced previously here are 3 key areas of work which can be summarised in the below table:

AMBITION: Act together to reduce alcohol harm and its economic impact, so we can all have healthier, safer lives
GOAL: Reduce public sector costs by 10% over 5 years (£40 m)


RE-EDUCATION/ INFORMATION T/ACC Simon Shaw Vicky Jones Educating Public Sector Workforce via targeted and coherent Brief advice training- reach of this is 80,000 people and much more when considering their children, families and significant others.
CONCERTED CROSS SECTOR MEDIA EFFORTS Iwan Davies/ Andrew Jones TBC Target North Wales specific media to change large scale messages and challenge long held assumptions and views.  To get media on board with our messages.

Jeremy Vaughan

Reduce Availability and Affordability in a consistent and coherent way across the region


The following provides an overview of progress on each area during this period:

Re Education/ Information

During Q3 NWP Officer Alcohol Brief intervention (ABI) training has been finalised which means that all NWP staff are now trained, equating to 2600 individuals. This has included train the trainer packages to 1) ensure growth in number of trainers to attempt to meet the ambitious targets that have been set and 2) to ensure a sustainable model of working. The latter will also enable the training of new recruits as part of their induction programmes.

ABI training has not been done on this scale before and provides a blueprint for other public sector organisations to implement.

Also during this period, Conwy Council Senior Leadership Team was trained during November.  Feedback from this was very positive and should now act as a catalyst for further cascade.  Wrexham Local Service Board members also received the training in December.

Although the Regional Commissioning and Development Manager for North Wales Area Planning Board had initiated discussions with the All Wales Academy, a bi lingual e learning platform available to local authority staff, councillors and school governors, to look at the development of an e learning programme to support mass roll out, progress has been limited as the All Wales Academy have not engaged.  This remains a challenge and other options may need to be sought with regard to this.

The Alcohol Demand Reduction work stream group has also began to identify individuals from the cross sector of public sector organisations in NW for Train the Trainer modules in  order to grow the training resource available.  These sessions will be provided during Q4.

Concerted Cross Sector Communications

The communications plan setting out both traditional and innovative ways to engage with key stakeholders continues to be developed to challenge long held assumptions about the acceptability of alcohol and look to engage not only with the media, but local communities to help spread more responsible messages.

Public Health Wales (PHW) have been supporting the NWP Enforcement Campaigns by providing health messages and signposting to support services.  This has been particularly significant over the Christmas period where the Think Safe Drink Safe Campaign has been rolled out across North Wales, led by WCBC.  This has involved a Regional radio campaign delivering key messages to the public around responsible drinking, to ensure they can enjoy a safe and enjoyable night out.  The radio campaigns also included experiential features from events within Higher education establishments across North Wales to highlight the issues and put into practice key messages to avoid pre loading and to stay safe which was felt to be impactive.  A call to action was included in the adverts so that people were signposted to relevant information and resources for further information. Early indications demonstrate the campaign has led to a 618% increase in the downloading of the One Drink, One click app

Communication tools have been developed and circulated to all partners offering resources; scratch cards/ promotional materials raising the profile of alcohol use.

Alcohol Concern has been approached to support joint working and the development of resources for Alcohol Awareness week to ensure National campaigns can be delivered locally to the population by frontline staff.

Communications leads from across North Wales Public sector organisations have been continuing to meet to agree to ways of working, explore organisation level opportunities, set evaluation measures for activity and action annual calendar utilising media relationships and local opportunities.

In order to understand our target audiences so that we may effectively engage with key risk groups of our population Insight/data work has been undertaken by PHW. Three segments have been identified as being the targets for messaging/engagement – chosen due to size of segment and impact they have on public services.

·         Lash Lads (men under 35)

·         Sauvignon Superwomen ( women 45-60)

·         Aging Enjoyers ( 50+)

It is the intention that if we can work with these groups to understand the most effective types of messages that can be targeted to change their behaviours in relation to alcohol, this should have a significant impact to reduce demand through evidence based communications. It marks an exciting and innovative project and during Q3 a tender exercise was carried out by PHW to invite providers to take the work forward. Following a competitive process the contract was awarded to Social Change UK.

This research work will take place during the next 3 months. The proposal is that a ‘mini summit’ is held for the Alcohol Demand Reduction group, APB and the Public Health Wales Drug and Alcohol group. The event will happen on the 6th of May. This alcohol summit is designed to share the findings of the research and to shape the approach for targeting the three segments.

Recruitment is currently underway to try and engage with the three segments listed above, below are the approaches for each segment along with the methodology used:

–       Lash Lads: We will be conducting a focus group with men aged 25-34 years old in Gwynedd, which has a high binge drinking and heavy drinking prevalence. More precisely, we will be targeting Caernarfon, an area identified as having high levels of alcohol-related hospital admissions. Recruitment for this segment will be mainly through sports clubs, such as rugby, football and snooker clubs.

–       Sauvignon Superwomen: Data from the ONS revealed that a proportion of this segment is concentrated within the Flintshire area. Recruiting this segment might be more difficult for focus groups and as a result, we will need to use a different research approach. For this segment, we will adopt peer interviews – this will involve us working with five pairs of women in this segment and interviewing both at the same time, while allowing them to probe each others’ behaviours and attitudes. We will work with local business networks as well as employers in both the private and public sectors for managerial or professional women.

–       Evening Enjoyers: This segment has high alcohol consumption levels for both males and females, with a rise in alcohol specific A&E admissions. Based on ONS data for geographical clusters and alcohol consumption levels and alcohol specific hospital admissions by area, we are aiming to work with this segment in Conwy, particularly around Colwyn Bay, Llandudno and Conwy. We are working with community centres to recruit this segment for a focus group.

Cross Sector Enforcement

A full seasonal Christmas campaign was rolled out during December to counteract alcohol related violent crime and ensure a vibrant and safe night time economy for festive revellers.

NWP worked with the 6 NW local Authorities to deliver numerous operations inclusive of the following:

·         High visibility Police patrols in the Night Time Economy across key dates

·         Licensing visits – on weekends and key dates with Local Authority licensing staff which included licensed premises visits and checks on both on and off licensed premises.

·         Taxi marshals, Street pastors, St John’s ambulance and British Red Cross mobilised in Bangor, Caernarfon, Prestatyn, Rhyl, Llandudno and Wrexham to ensure safety of night time revellers.

·         NWP drugs dog

·         Security staff at Hospital sites on key dates

·         Dedicated double crewed vehicle to support all domestic violence incidents and proactive visits to engage with previous high risk suspects

·         A mental health triage car consisting of a Mental Health Worker and a dedicated police officer working together attending incidents where the mental health of those involved may be a factor. By utilising a trained mental health worker alongside a police officer it allows for better information sharing that should allow officers to fully understand what is generating demand and how to problem solve it.

Of significant note is that Wrexham Alcohol Treatment and Welfare Centre, Hafan Y Dre, opened its doors during this period which is a key part of the reducing alcohol demand agenda.  Its purpose is to provide a safe environment for the treatment of alcohol related incidents, keeping A and E departments free for the most needy and provide welfare support to individuals at increased vulnerability and therefore risk as a result of excess alcohol consumption.

Progress planned for next quarter:

During Quarter 4:

·         ABI Train the Trainer sessions for cross sector organisation work force

·         Segmentation work will take place to identify who and how best to engage with key segments of the population who are identified at posing the greatest demand on public sector services.

·         Evaluation of the Enforcement and Communications operations from Think Safe Drink Safe.

·         Performance Management methods still need to be examined to capture the impact of the work

Newly identified barriers/risks/issues and any mitigating factors:

Need to ensure effective project management and facilitation as to date the project has been largely emergent- this continues to be discussed and potential to change current methodology, providing more structure and effective project management.

All Wales Academy have not engaged which remains a challenge when considering mass roll out of ABI training in line with proposed targets.


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