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Plans to tackle cheap cider get MP support

Photo (left to right): Dr Tim Noble, Emergency Care Group Director; Lesley Hammond, Operational Lead, Emergency Care Group; Caroline Flint MP; Ed Miliband MP; Dr Anurag Agrawal, Consultant Gastroenterologist; David Purdue, Chief Operating Officer; Richard Parker, Acting Chief Executive; and Suzy Brain England, Trust ChairDoncaster MPs have called on the Government to tackle the "devstating impact" of illness caused by super-size bottles of cheap cider.

It comes after Ed and Don valley MP Caroline Flint toured Doncaster Royal Infirmary’s Gastroenterology Ward, which treats people with alcohol-related liver disease.

They met patients and saw first-hand the impact alcohol has on hospital admissions.

The MPs were told that certain drinks - in particular 3-litre bottles of strong cider which can be bought for as little as £3 in Doncaster - caused a huge number of problems.

Ed said: "By meeting a number of patients I was able to see for myself the effect of cheap alcohol consumption on individuals.

"It's important to raise awareness about the impact of alcohol on our hospitals, and on Doncaster's communities, and look at solutions to the problem - including an increase in the price of certain products, such as large bottles of strong cider.

“I welcome the work of the Alcohol Health Alliance, and the work Dr Agrawal is doing here in Doncaster."

The visit was part of the Alcohol Health Alliance’s (AHA) ‘Day of Action’, organised by Consultant Gastroenterologist Dr Anurag Agrawal.

Ms Flint said: “From the visit and conversations with Dr Agrawal, his team and patients, it is clear that excessive alcohol consumption and cheap alcohol is having a devastating impact on the lives of far too many people here in Doncaster.  

“The ready availability of cheap alcohol is a huge part of this, and tackling the low cost of alcohol, as well as discouraging excessive consumption, should both be priorities for the Government. We will be raising the matter with Chancellor Philip Hammond."

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