Burton is blazing a trail in nation's alcohol crisis
A TRAILBLAZING drug and alcohol treatment centre in Burton is to be used as an example for the Government’s new strategy to tackle booze-related illness.
Burton Addiction Centre founder Noreen Oliver and town MP Andrew Griffiths have been highlighting the good work done by the centre in a meeting with junior health minister Anne Milton.
The meeting was held in the week the Mail revealed alcohol-related admissions at Burton’s Queen’s Hospital had rocketed by more than 800 per cent in five years.
Mrs Oliver said the minister had ‘massively engaged’ with herself and the MP and had requested further information about the work carried out by the centre, in Station Street.
In particular, Mrs Oliver highlighted pioneering schemes such as having workers based at Burton’s Queen’s Hospital and at the town’s police station, to identify and treat people with persistent alcohol- related problems.
She also stressed the importance of GPs advising those with serious alcoholrelated problems to quit the bottle, something she said was routine in Burton but far less commonplace in other parts of the country.
Mrs Oliver said: “We are setting the standard and we wanted to show Mrs Milton the good practice that is being carried out here in Burton.
“Alcohol-related conditions cost the NHS a lot of money but if we have someone working with those individuals and referring them to agencies which specialise in those conditions, it ends up saving a huge amount in costs. I was over the moon that our work is able to inform the Government’s alcohol strategy.”
Mr Griffiths, who is secretary of the allparty parliamentary group for the misuse of drugs and alcohol, said the meeting had been ‘very positive’.
He said: “We wanted to allow the minister to benefit from the experience and expertise of Burton Addiction Centre, which is now becoming recognised as a flagship service and one of the most forward-looking drug and alcohol treatment centres in the country.
“The minister has asked Noreen to contribute to the consultation on the new alcohol treatment strategy, which is another step towards Burton becoming one of the country’s flagship towns for treating alcohol problems.”