Problem alcohol use and its impact on people and families has been a recurrent and pervasive theme for GPs at the Deep End. As generalists -much like patients - we view problem alcohol use as part of the bigger picture of mental health and social difficulties. 

Deep End Report 11 summarises a meeting with colleagues working in alcohol services, including psychiatry.

REPORT 11 Alcohol problems in adults under 40 (Aug 2010)
Summary | Full report

A letter was subsequently published in the Herald in support of minimal alcohol pricing.

See page 33 in General Practitioners at the Deep End: The experience and views of general practitioners working in the most severely deprived areas of Scotland Occas Pap R Coll Gen Pract. 2012 April; (89): i-viii, 1-40. [Published 2012, Available online 2013]

This short paper collates three Deep End statements on alcohol, which were tabled at a meeting on Alcohol Dependency at the Scottish parliament on 15 May 2013, chaired by Jackie Baillie MSP on behalf of the Wellbeing Alliance.

Alcohol problems in very deprived areas

In 2015 GPs at the Deep End working in partnership with Glasgow Alcohol and Drugs Recovery Service successfully delivered a pilot of attaching 2 specialist alcohol nurses to 6 Deep End general practices in North West Glasgow.

REPORT 31 Attached Alcohol Nurse Deep End Pilot (Dec 2016)
SummaryFull report

This is a presentation about GPs at the Deep End, alcohol and engagement in care to the UK Medical Council on Alcohol (MCA) in November 2016.

Primary care support for problem alcohol use in areas of highest deprivation 
Presentation by Andrea Williamson at Medical Council on Alcohol (Nov 2016)(Link)

This paper summarizes the MCA presentation and was published in the MCA newsletter

Primary care support for problem alcohol use in areas of highest deprivation Andrea Williamson Alcoholis January 2017 5-6

A Deep End GP told her personal story about the impact of problem alcohol use in her work. Alcohol Focus Scotland is the national charity that works to prevent and reduce alcohol related harm.

A Health Technology Assessment request was made to Healthcare Improvement Scotland in March 2017. This was to identify whether there was existing evidence to support the attachment of specialist alcohol nurses in high problem alcohol use settings. Evidence about engagement in care, patient satisfaction and outcomes of treatment were requested.

HTA application

A topic exploration was carried out and the lack of evidence in this area was described.

Alcohol nurse topic exploration

Just ahead of the Supreme Court hearing on minimum unit pricing (MUP) for alcohol in Scotland, GPs at the Deep End publish another letter to the Herald with 40 Deep End GP signatories from across Scotland.

Make minimum pricing happen The Herald 12 July 2017

A Herald editorial and comment response to the letter was published that same day

For all our sakes alcohol pricing law must go ahead The Herald 12 July 2017
Poorest would gain most from  minimum unit price for booze say GPs The Herald 12 July 2017

The Scottish Whisky Association replied

Minimum pricing too simplistic The Herald 13 July 2017

Following that a member of the public did too

This selfish pursuit of profit The Herald 15 July 2017

Finally the Chief Executive of Alcohol Focus Scotland quoted our letter in a follow up article

Minimum pricing for alcohol will save lives The Herald 24 July 2017

The judgement from the Supreme Court is expected in October 2017.

Contacts for GPs at the Deep End work on alcohol

Dr Andrea Williamson
Dr Margaret Craig