Alcohol and public health: culture, policy and delivery

Lead Research Organisation: Bath Spa University
Department Name: Sch of Humanities and Cultural Industrie

Abstract

This project seeks to enhance the design and delivery of alcohol harm reduction policies in South West England through encouraging wide-ranging engagement with historical and cultural research. It is based on the Lead Investigator's work on the social history of drinking in England, and will be delivered in partnership with the Department of Health South West Alcohol Improvement Programme. Four subregional workshops will address the role of historical and cultural knowledge in the areas of health provision, crime reduction and licensing policy. Participants will include representatives from Primary Care Trusts, Drug and Alcohol Action Teams, Crime and Disorder Partnerships, local licensing authorities, and third sector organisations. Once completed, a briefing resource will be produced and disseminated to participants and other stakeholders via the Department of Health South West. The resource will provide a toolkit for practitioners seeking to apply historical and cultural knowledge to their work in alcohol harm reduction. The workshops will also promote the establishment of sustainable knowledge and resource sharing networks across a field which is often fragmented, with particular gaps in communication between historical researchers, policy developers and frontline service providers. The need to address the challenge of culture change around alcohol use has been identified as a key strategic goal by a number of Government departments ( Department of Health, Home Office, DCMS and DCSF); this project seeks to make a distinctive contribution to that process by promoting a historically-informed culture among those responsible for designing and delivering alcohol harm reduction policies. It will also seek to promote greater engagement between humanities research and public health provision where relevant.

Planned Impact

Beneficiaries

Alcohol service providers in regional Primary Care Trusts; regional NHS public health managers; regional Public Health Observatories; NHS social marketing teams; GPs
Health service providers will benefit from this project by developing their capacity to place health provision in a broader historical and cultural context. Effective health communication requires an understanding of both cultural drivers and evidence of approaches that have worked previously. This project will encourage an active engagement with these questions as well as presenting examples of effective practice. The briefing resource will provide an ongoing toolkit for service providers seeking to develop their work in alcohol health communication.

Drug and Alcohol Action Teams; Local Alcohol Partnerships; local Crime and Disorder Partnerships; police
Supporting culture change is a key strategic goal of statutory bodies dealing with alcohol related crime and antisocial behaviour. This project will develop the capacity of these bodies to place specific cultural trends in a wider social and historical context.

Local licensing authorities
The historical research on which this project is based deals extensively with licensing history and practice. This project will contribute to the development of a historically informed evidence base which will support decision-making within licensing authorities. It will also provide an evidence base for associated policy areas such as policing and planning.

All participant groups will also benefit from collaborative discussions with practitioners in related sectors. The establishment of knowledge and resource-sharing networks will facilitate sustainable cross-cutting collaboration between these groups.

Academics working in the history of public health or alcohol
There is a significant body of academic work in this area (e.g. Society for the Social History of Medicine; ESRC Network on Intoxicants and Intoxication in Historical and Cultural Perspective; Alcohol and Drugs History Society). However, the links between humanities research and both policy and frontline delivery in this area are weak. This project will support the development of stronger relationships between academic researchers, policymakers and delivery services, thereby developing the capacity for humanities research to make a difference in this field.

Health advisory groups (e.g. the BMA, Alcohol Concern, NICE)
Although not directly involved in this project, these groups will benefit from a greater understanding of collaboration between historical research and health delivery in practice. This will enhance their already significant expertise in epidemiological and biomedical approaches.

Government departments (Department of Health, Home Offcie, DCMS, DCSF)
As the partner organisation in this project, the Department of Health South West will benefit from greater historical and cultural knowledge in relation to its own remit, and the establishment of stronger cross-cutting networks with relevant stakeholders and service providers. The project will provide evidence for all other relevant Government departments regarding the role of historical knowledge in the promotion of culture change and the benefit of partnerships between humanities research and health service providers.

The project has relevance for the goal of achieving culture change around drinking throughout the UK. This has been identified as a key strategic goal by the DCMS, Home Office and DCSF.

Throughout the project, the partner organisation will monitor impacts as part of its remit to promote partnership and support knowledge-sharing. The Lead Investigator will run ongoing follow-up communications with participants and structured workshop feedback will be collated and incorporated into interim reports. The briefing resource will ensure tha

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description This project sought to enhance the design and delivery of alcohol harm reduction policies in South West England through encouraging wide-ranging engagement with historical and cultural research. It was based on the lead investigators work on the social history of drinking in England and was delivered in partnership with the South West Alcohol Improvement Programme. Four subregional one-day workshops addressed the role of historical and cultural knowledge in the areas of health provision, crime reduction and licensing policy. Over 100 participants attended the workshops, including representatives from Primary Care Trusts, licensing authorities, the police, alcohol and drug services, crime and disorder partnerships, trading standards and universities. A number of guest speakers contributed to the workshops, including academics, urban planners and representatives of consumer bodies. Followup

interviews were carried out with a number of participants. On completion a briefing pack was produced which summarised the findings of the workshops and discussed the key issues in relation to existing research on British drinking cultures. The resource was disseminated to participants and regional directors of public health and a copy was sent to the Alcohol Strategy Team and the Home Office. The workshops promoted the establishment of sustainable knowledge-sharing networks across a field that is often fragmented; they also sought to close the gap between academic research in the field and frontline delivery. The need to address the challenge of culture change around alcohol use has been identified as a key strategic goal by a number of Government departments, and this project sought to make a distinctive contribution to that process by promoting a historically-informed approach to alcohol cultures among those responsible for designing and delivering alcohol harm reduction policies.
Exploitation Route The findings demonstrated some of the opportunities arising from applying broad cultural knowledge to local alcohol policy development and delivery. It also provided an early insight into the challenges faced in bringing together public health teams and licensing officials. The latter element has proved to be useful in the context of both a greater role for public health in licensing in England and Wales, and the existence of a public health licensing objective in Scotland. The findings have been taken forward by organisations including the Local Government Association, Public Health England, Alcohol Focus Scotland, Balance North East and the Safe, Sociable London Partnership. They have also informed discussion with central government. As work continues on the application of public health to local licensing, the project findings continue to be of relevance at local and national level.
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Healthcare,Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism,Government, Democracy and Justice

URL http://www.swpho.nhs.uk/resource/item.aspx?RID=89492
 
Description The findings of my award have informed a wide range of public engagements and policy consultations in addition to academic outputs. Since completing the award, I have become Director of Research and Policy Development at Alcohol Research UK, where my knowledge of alcohol policy plays a critical role in the day-to-day work of supporting and disseminating research. Since the award finished I have given over 20 invited papers informed by my findings to a range of stakeholders including public lectures, policy forums, academic events, and meetings arranged by Government departments, Public Health England, the Local Government Association, Police and Crime Commissioners and charities. I am currently co-chair of a national network on alcohol licensing and public health, and I co-authored widely-disseminated LGA guidance for public health teams on alcohol licensing. I have advised the Department of Health and Home Office on issues around public health and licensing, and played a role in making the creation of a public health licensing objective a viable policy option. Following my project work, I sat on an expert group which developed the influential report Alcohol Focus Scotland 'Re-thinking Alcohol Licensing'. I subsequently became part of a project team evaluating the operations of the public health licensing objective in Scotland. Both reports have informed national and local policymaking. In my current role, I speak regularly on local and national media on alcohol issues, and have published articles in the national press on alcohol policy.
First Year Of Impact 2011
Sector Communities and Social Services/Policy,Healthcare,Government, Democracy and Justice
Impact Types Policy & public services

 
Description Alcohol licensing in Scotland
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in advisory committee
Impact The report 'Rethinking Alcohol Licensing' contributed to increased engagement between public health teams and licensing boards in Scotland. Many of its recommendations were included in a Government consultation on licensing in 2012, and recommendations have been included in the Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Bill 2014.
URL http://www.alcohol-focus-scotland.org.uk/media/1096/rethinking-alcohol-licensing.pdf
 
Description Government Alcohol Strategy
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a national consultation
 
Description Public health licensing objective
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guidance committee
Impact Work with the national network on licensing and public health has influenced the Local Government Association and Public Health England in publicly supporting a public health licensing objective. The LGA worked closely with Lord Brooke of Alvethorpe in introducing a Private Members Bill for a public health licensing objective in 2014. The Home Office reference group for Local Alcohol Action Areas exploring a public health licensing objective supports areas in identifying the viability of the policy at a national level.
URL http://www.local.gov.uk/publications/-/journal_content/56/10180/3841108/PUBLICATION
 
Description Collaboration with Alcohol Focus Scotland 
Organisation Alcohol Focus Scotland
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Collaboration with Alcohol Focus Scotland on 'Using licensing to promote public health:from evidence to practice. Funded by Alcohol Research UK 2012-2013
Start Year 2012
 
Description National network on licensing and public health 
Organisation Alcohol Concern
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution The network was initially established as part of a research project with Alcohol Focus Scotland, but building on networks established as part of the AHRC award. I established the initial network and chaired the meetings. I now co-chair the network. I help identify network members, deliver papers based on network findings and discussions, and have established an academic subgroup.
Collaborator Contribution Public health England provide the secretariat and co-chair the network.
Impact Local Government Association / Alcohol Research UK Guidance on licensing and public health (direct outcome); Public Health England Guidance on licensing and public health (indirect output). Licensing Act 2003: Opportunities for public health (presentation to PHE national conference 2014) Using licensing to tackle alcohol-related harm (presentation to Public Health Wales conference 2014) Licensing availability and harm: key principles (presentation to Balance North East conference 2013) Membership of Home Office / PHE reference group for Local Alcohol Action Areas (2014) Membership of Department of Health Technical group on public health licensing objective (2013) Membership of Home Office Technical Group on mandatory licensing conditions (2013)
Start Year 2013
 
Description National network on licensing and public health 
Organisation Department of Health (DH)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution The network was initially established as part of a research project with Alcohol Focus Scotland, but building on networks established as part of the AHRC award. I established the initial network and chaired the meetings. I now co-chair the network. I help identify network members, deliver papers based on network findings and discussions, and have established an academic subgroup.
Collaborator Contribution Public health England provide the secretariat and co-chair the network.
Impact Local Government Association / Alcohol Research UK Guidance on licensing and public health (direct outcome); Public Health England Guidance on licensing and public health (indirect output). Licensing Act 2003: Opportunities for public health (presentation to PHE national conference 2014) Using licensing to tackle alcohol-related harm (presentation to Public Health Wales conference 2014) Licensing availability and harm: key principles (presentation to Balance North East conference 2013) Membership of Home Office / PHE reference group for Local Alcohol Action Areas (2014) Membership of Department of Health Technical group on public health licensing objective (2013) Membership of Home Office Technical Group on mandatory licensing conditions (2013)
Start Year 2013
 
Description National network on licensing and public health 
Organisation Home Office
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution The network was initially established as part of a research project with Alcohol Focus Scotland, but building on networks established as part of the AHRC award. I established the initial network and chaired the meetings. I now co-chair the network. I help identify network members, deliver papers based on network findings and discussions, and have established an academic subgroup.
Collaborator Contribution Public health England provide the secretariat and co-chair the network.
Impact Local Government Association / Alcohol Research UK Guidance on licensing and public health (direct outcome); Public Health England Guidance on licensing and public health (indirect output). Licensing Act 2003: Opportunities for public health (presentation to PHE national conference 2014) Using licensing to tackle alcohol-related harm (presentation to Public Health Wales conference 2014) Licensing availability and harm: key principles (presentation to Balance North East conference 2013) Membership of Home Office / PHE reference group for Local Alcohol Action Areas (2014) Membership of Department of Health Technical group on public health licensing objective (2013) Membership of Home Office Technical Group on mandatory licensing conditions (2013)
Start Year 2013
 
Description National network on licensing and public health 
Organisation Institute of Alcohol Studies (IAS)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution The network was initially established as part of a research project with Alcohol Focus Scotland, but building on networks established as part of the AHRC award. I established the initial network and chaired the meetings. I now co-chair the network. I help identify network members, deliver papers based on network findings and discussions, and have established an academic subgroup.
Collaborator Contribution Public health England provide the secretariat and co-chair the network.
Impact Local Government Association / Alcohol Research UK Guidance on licensing and public health (direct outcome); Public Health England Guidance on licensing and public health (indirect output). Licensing Act 2003: Opportunities for public health (presentation to PHE national conference 2014) Using licensing to tackle alcohol-related harm (presentation to Public Health Wales conference 2014) Licensing availability and harm: key principles (presentation to Balance North East conference 2013) Membership of Home Office / PHE reference group for Local Alcohol Action Areas (2014) Membership of Department of Health Technical group on public health licensing objective (2013) Membership of Home Office Technical Group on mandatory licensing conditions (2013)
Start Year 2013
 
Description National network on licensing and public health 
Organisation Institute of Licensing
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution The network was initially established as part of a research project with Alcohol Focus Scotland, but building on networks established as part of the AHRC award. I established the initial network and chaired the meetings. I now co-chair the network. I help identify network members, deliver papers based on network findings and discussions, and have established an academic subgroup.
Collaborator Contribution Public health England provide the secretariat and co-chair the network.
Impact Local Government Association / Alcohol Research UK Guidance on licensing and public health (direct outcome); Public Health England Guidance on licensing and public health (indirect output). Licensing Act 2003: Opportunities for public health (presentation to PHE national conference 2014) Using licensing to tackle alcohol-related harm (presentation to Public Health Wales conference 2014) Licensing availability and harm: key principles (presentation to Balance North East conference 2013) Membership of Home Office / PHE reference group for Local Alcohol Action Areas (2014) Membership of Department of Health Technical group on public health licensing objective (2013) Membership of Home Office Technical Group on mandatory licensing conditions (2013)
Start Year 2013
 
Description National network on licensing and public health 
Organisation Local Government Association
Department Licensing
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution The network was initially established as part of a research project with Alcohol Focus Scotland, but building on networks established as part of the AHRC award. I established the initial network and chaired the meetings. I now co-chair the network. I help identify network members, deliver papers based on network findings and discussions, and have established an academic subgroup.
Collaborator Contribution Public health England provide the secretariat and co-chair the network.
Impact Local Government Association / Alcohol Research UK Guidance on licensing and public health (direct outcome); Public Health England Guidance on licensing and public health (indirect output). Licensing Act 2003: Opportunities for public health (presentation to PHE national conference 2014) Using licensing to tackle alcohol-related harm (presentation to Public Health Wales conference 2014) Licensing availability and harm: key principles (presentation to Balance North East conference 2013) Membership of Home Office / PHE reference group for Local Alcohol Action Areas (2014) Membership of Department of Health Technical group on public health licensing objective (2013) Membership of Home Office Technical Group on mandatory licensing conditions (2013)
Start Year 2013
 
Description National network on licensing and public health 
Organisation Public Health England
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution The network was initially established as part of a research project with Alcohol Focus Scotland, but building on networks established as part of the AHRC award. I established the initial network and chaired the meetings. I now co-chair the network. I help identify network members, deliver papers based on network findings and discussions, and have established an academic subgroup.
Collaborator Contribution Public health England provide the secretariat and co-chair the network.
Impact Local Government Association / Alcohol Research UK Guidance on licensing and public health (direct outcome); Public Health England Guidance on licensing and public health (indirect output). Licensing Act 2003: Opportunities for public health (presentation to PHE national conference 2014) Using licensing to tackle alcohol-related harm (presentation to Public Health Wales conference 2014) Licensing availability and harm: key principles (presentation to Balance North East conference 2013) Membership of Home Office / PHE reference group for Local Alcohol Action Areas (2014) Membership of Department of Health Technical group on public health licensing objective (2013) Membership of Home Office Technical Group on mandatory licensing conditions (2013)
Start Year 2013
 
Description Briefing Pack 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Briefing pack distributed to 102 participants, the South West regional directors of public health and the Alcohol Strategy Unit (Home Office). As of October 2014 this report had been downloaded a further 721 times from the website of the South West Public Health Observatory.

As impacts for workshops
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
URL http://www.swpho.nhs.uk/resource/item.aspx?RID=89492
 
Description Conference presentation (City Health, 2012) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Around 50 participants at the national City Health conference attended and asked questions

The presentation was made available online. Connections were made with the public health team at Bristol City Council.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
 
Description Establishment of national licensing network (Public Health England) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact National network of 25 representatives from policy, licensing law, regulatory authorities, local government, academic research and health meets regularly to explore issues in the implementation of public health engagement in licensing.

Co-authorship of Local Government Association guidance on licensing and public health; informed Public Health England guidance on licensing and public health; worked with Home Office on Local Alcohol Action Areas (public health licensing objective); influenced decision by PHE and LGA to support public health licensing objective at national level.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013,2014
 
Description History and local alcohol policy (History and Policy workshop) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Students on the History and Policy postgraduate module attended and asked questions.

Invited to write paper for History and Policy website on historical perspectives on alcohol policy.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Licensign and public health workshop (Drinkwise North West) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Attendees at regional workshop on alcohol licensing and public health listened and asked questions

Strengthened relationship with health and licensing teams in North West. Contributed to the work of the national dialogue group on licensing and public health.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Presentation to North East licensing and health teams (Balance North East) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Attendees at regional conference on alcohol licensing attended and asked questions.

Further work requests from practitioners in North East. Development of regional focus on licensing issues.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Presentation to Public Health England 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Around 50 local practitioners and policymakers attended this event to develop capacity around licensing practice.

Further work with PHE England. Contribution to the development of a national network on alcohol licensing and public health. Capacity building among national public health practitioners.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Presentation to Safe, Sociable London Partnership 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Attendees at Safe, Sociable London licensing conference heard talk and asked questions.

Established working relationship with Safe, Sociable London Partnership. Strengthened connections with Home Office Alcohol Policy Team.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
 
Description Public health and alcohol policy (Turning Point, Melbourne) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Around 40 participants in an international conference on alcohol policy attended and asked questions. As part of this event, I took part in a public policy debate on alcohol regulation in Victoria.

Opportunity for formal publication. Connections with a number of international academics, improved opportunities for collaboration. Connection established with team working on licensing and public health in Victoria with plans for future collaboration. Public forum presentation made available online.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Reducing alcohol harms at a local level (Devon PCC Alcohol Summit) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Around 60 attendees at the conference listened and asked questions. As part of the conference I took part in a panel debate broadcast live on BBC Devon.

The Devon PCC released a report on the conference and has made a commitment to reducing alcohol harms a key policy. Made contact with Sarah Woollaston, MP.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Symposium (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Around 40 attendees took part in a symposium on local and national alcohol policy in historical perspective. The audience included academics, policymakers, practitioners and charities. Three papers were presented, with mine on historical perspectives. Questions were asked and follow-up discussions held via email. A report is in preparation at the time of writing.

Links were made between licensing teams and academic researchers, and between Scottish and English practitioners.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Using licensing to tackle alcohol-related harm (Public Health Wales) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Around 80 participants at the annual Public Health Wales conferences attended and asked questions.

Informed work of Public Health Wales regarding alcohol policy. Request for further advice from a regional DPH.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014