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Issue:- 14 October 2010


NEW research released by alcohol charity Drinkaware, following the launch of their partnership with National Union of Students (NUS), indicates that despite popular myth, students’ attitudes to drinking may actually be healthier than their working counterparts. Nationally, 32% of students aged 18 to 24 in say they stop drinking before they have reached their personal limit, while 28% of those who work manage to do the same.

5% of those who work think it is socially acceptable to end up in hospital as a direct result, or for reasons associated with alcohol, while just 3% of students think the same. In the North 7% of those in employment think it is fine to be reprimanded by the police for anti-social behaviour as a result of alcohol, compared to only 3% of students.

As universities across the North begin a new year, the research challenges the stereotype of students being some of the worse drinkers in the UK. However, it also indicates that, despite best intentions, there is still a problem that needs to be addressed. 51% of students in the North admit they still consume at least double the daily unit guidelines when drinking socially and 28% have blacked out or lost their memory due to drinking too much.

Drinkaware and NUS have joined forces to provide tips and advice for students and help universities combat excessive alcohol consumption. The partnership is in support of the wider ‘Why Let Good Times Go Bad?’ campaign; a five year £100 million initiative to challenge the social acceptability of drunkenness among young UK adults, run by Drinkaware in partnership with more than 40 companies from across the drinks industry.

The research of 18-24 year olds in the region, who either study or are in employment, also shows almost half the students surveyed (48%) are concerned about the long-term health risks of drinking alcohol with 17% declaring that tips and advice on how to drink less would influence them to consume less alcohol. Peer pressure appears to be a contributing factor to student drinking as 31% feel they will be ridiculed if they choose to avoid alcohol on a night out.

Chris Sorek, Chief Executive of Drinkaware, says:- “Despite the reputation students have of drinking to excess, being at university shouldn’t be seen as synonymous with being drunk. We need to challenge this stereotype and combat the acceptability of drunkenness among all young adults, whether they are a student or not.   University is where many young adults take their first steps into adult life; living away from home and taking on greater responsibility for their future. It is also a time when many students drink to excess so this is a key time to provide them with tips and advice. Drinkaware has teamed up with NUS to offer students in the North the facts about alcohol and encourage students to make informed decisions about drinking which we hope will positively impact their future.”

Ben Whittaker, NUS Vice-President (Welfare), adds:- "We must not trivialise the problem of excessive drinking amongst any group, including students, and this research demonstrates that young people are often not the drunken louts they are painted as - it must be recognised that this is not just a student issue but a national one. Suggesting that drunkenness is the norm amongst students can be a self-fulfilling prophecy that results in pressure to partake in dangerous behaviour and this is simply not acceptable.  NUS is working to make sure that no-one wants or feels the pressure to drink to excess and the 'Why Let Good Times Go Bad' campaign provides those that do want to drink with information that will help them to do so more safely. They should make sure they know how to contact their friends and how they're getting home, to eat plenty before drinking and to make sure to drink plenty or water or other soft-drinks throughout the evening."


A system developed to help patients understand their surgery and aftercare has won a national award.  Aintree University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust won the ‘Best use of IT in patient and citizen involvement in healthcare’ award at the E-Health Insider awards held in London at the end of last week.

The submission was made by Professor Simon Rogers and his team for a system that’s been developed to help head and neck cancer patients get the most from their clinic visits. A touch screen tablet with questions is given to patients prior to their consultation. A volunteer helps patients fill out the ‘Patient Concerns Inventory’, getting them to think practically about the information and support they need during their consultation from the nurses, doctors and other support services.

Professor Simon Rogers, Consultant Surgeon at Aintree University Hospital and Professor in the Evidence based Practice Research Centre at Edge Hill University said:- “We often found that patients wouldn’t really know what information they needed from us and can often not raise their concerns at the time of their consultation. We developed the Patient Concerns Inventory so patients had prompts and the opportunity to discuss a whole range of issues about their care. Head and neck cancer treatment is often very complex so having some thinking time and using prompts to get information helps us give a better service and gets our patients the information they need in a simple way.”

The awards are hosted and organised by the healthcare IT sector’s leading online publication, E-Health Insider, in partnership with the UK’s largest supplier of healthcare IT services, BT Health.

Jon Hoeksma, Editor of E-Health Insider said:- “The E-Health Insider Awards 2010 in association with BT attracted a record number of entries and votes for our Healthcare IT Champion. They are a bellwether for the health and vitality of this important sector and show that healthcare IT is still producing great innovation and excellent work by teams and individuals.  We face a period of austerity in public services, but it is clear that the coalition government’s plans for healthcare will make ever-increasing demands on the skills of the health IT community in the NHS and industry. Ambitions to provide more choice enable patients to control their own records and improve the commissioning of health services all need to be underpinned by excellent IT. The awards provide a great showcase for the talent available to tackle those reforms.”


MERSEYSIDE Police Detectives are appealing for information following a cash in transit robbery on Friday, 8 October 2010, in Netherton.

At around midday, officers were called to Park Lane, Netherton. A security guard was making a delivery to the Nisa Store, when he was approached by a man armed with a knife. The offender threatened the guard and made off with a cash box. At this time it is unclear how much cash was stolen.

The offender, who is described only as male, late 20s, early 30s, around 5ft 7in tall and of medium build, made off from the scene in a grey or silver Toyota 4x4 in the direction of Dunningsbridge Road.

The guard was uninjured but has been left shaken by his ordeal.

Officers would urge anyone who witnessed this incident or who has any information about it to call:- 0151 777 5686 or Crimestoppers on:- 0800 555 111. Officers are also keen to speak to anyone who has seen a car matching this description in the area before or after the incident to contact officers.

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