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Alcoholism: Health Services

Volume 488: debated on Monday 23 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what specialist training is available for general practitioners to ensure that primary care services respond to the health needs of patients presenting with severe alcohol dependency. (255316)

It is the responsibility of primary care trusts to ensure that their existing health care staff are well trained and provided with the opportunity to receive continuing professional development.

However, the Government are committed to actively supporting the training of undergraduate doctors, some of whom will go on to become general practitioners, in helping to reduce the harms that are attributable to alcohol misuse.

This will include ensuring that around 60,000 new doctors leaving medical training in England, over a 10 year period, will be able to deliver competent practice in both drug and alcohol misuse, including a clear focus on the recognition and the management of risky and harmful alcohol consumption.

We allocated £650,000 in 2008 for the developmental work medical schools will need to carry out, to embed such an integrated substance misuse curriculum into their own core teaching and training programmes. This funding will enable the first major tranche of medical schools to make the changes needed; with full roll-out across all schools over the following three years.