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Annual Action Plan 2017

BACKGROUND

Galway City is the first city in Ireland to develop an alcohol strategy to prevent and reduce alcohol-related harm. This five-year strategy (2013-2017), which is informed by research on effective approaches to tackling alcohol-related harm, takes a community action approach and focuses on the four key areas of:

A) Prevention
B) Supply, Access & Availability
C) Screening, Treatment & Support Services
D) Research, Monitoring & Evaluation

Community action on alcohol is based on the premise that changes in public policies (regulation, enforcement, laws, systems change) are necessary to prevent and reduce alcohol-related problems, rather than focus just on individual change (treatment for people who are alcohol abusers/dependent). According to evidence, community action on alcohol is best implemented in towns and cities, with at least a population of over 5,000 people, for any chance of success.

The strategy, which was prepared by the Galway Healthy Cities Alcohol Forum1 in partnership with a range of organisations and groups, was launched in February 2013. The Galway Healthy Cities Alcohol Forum, which includes representatives from HSE West, Western Region Drugs Task Force, Galway and Roscommon Education & Training Board, An Garda Síochána, Galway City Council, Galway City Community Forum and NUI Galway, is responsible for coordinating and driving the implementation of this strategy.

2016 Progress Report

As part of an annual progress update on the implementation of the strategy, a summary of actions completed in 2016 is outlined on the back page of this document. The focus of this fourth year of implementation was to continue to raise awareness of alcohol-related harm, build alliances and advocate. Galway Healthy Cities Alcohol Forum would like to thank those involved to date and acknowledges that a community action approach to preventing and reducing alcohol-related harm requires everyone’s involvement.

Critical Success Factors

The potential to successfully reduce alcoholrelated harm in Galway City is dependent on the support of national policies to address issues such as alcohol pricing, marketing and availability. Galway Healthy Cities Alcohol Forum supports the introduction of the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill and urges those that are in a position to ensure that the Bill is implemented. The Bill proposes restrictions on cheap alcohol; warning labels and calorie details; new powers for Environmental Health Officers; and new restrictions on advertising, marketing and sponsorship all of which are critical in preventing and reducing alcohol-related harm.

On a local level, collaboration and interagency working is crucial to preventing and reducing alcohol-related harm. It also enables us to make the best use of limited resources for maximum effect.

¹ Galway Healthy Cities Alcohol Forum is a sub group of Galway Healthy Cities Forum, which is a multi-agency group involved in the leading out of the World Health Organizations Healthy Cities Project in Galway City www.galwayhealthycities.ie


A: Prevention

Aim: To communicate and engage with policy makers, stakeholders and the general public on how best to prevent and reduce alcohol-related harm in Galway City

Goals

Priority Actions 2017

Public Awareness  

1 Raise public awareness of the burden of alcohol-related harm to the people of Galway City

2 Raise public awareness of the benefits of effective action to prevent and reduce alcohol-related harm

3 Raise public awareness on how to influence policy to prevent and reduce alcohol-related harm

1a. Engage with specific groups to increase awareness of alcohol-related harm (e.g. Education, Youth, Parents, Voluntary and Community sector)

1b. Communicate the impact of alcohol on health (tailor messages to specific audiences)

1c. Communicate the link between alcohol and social harm

2a. Communicate user friendly information on what works to prevent and reduce alcohol-related harm

3a. Engage with key stakeholders to implement policies to prevent and reduce alcohol related harm e.g. Public Health Alcohol Bill

Policy Development  

4 Support organisations and workplaces, to develop policies

4a. Advocate and support organisations to develop policies to prevent and reduce alcohol related harm e.g. guidance on why and how

4b Integrate the goals of the Galway Alcohol Strategy into other Galway City plans (e.g. LECP, Gastronomy, Capital of Culture)

Protecting Children and Young People  

5 Protect children and young people from alcohol-related harm and alcohol promotion

5a. Seek to reduce exposure of children to alcohol and alcohol promotion in public places

Support Alcohol Free Activities  

6 Encourage activities in Galway City that are free from alcohol

6a. Encourage and promote social and recreational activities that are free from alcohol
Public

B: Supply, access and availability

Aim: To ensure that key factors influencing alcohol supply, such as price, availability and marketing, are regulated and controlled to prevent and reduce alcohol-related harm in Galway City

Goals

Priority Actions 2017

Alcohol Price  

7 Influence national policy in relation to alcohol pricing

7a. Advocate for the implementation of minimum pricing e.g. Public Health Alcohol Bill

Alcohol Availability  

8 Limit the availability of alcohol in Galway City

9 Promote and strengthen legislation and enforcement relating to the sale of alcohol

8a. Update information on number of outlets selling alcohol in Galway City and map density

8b. Limit availability of alcohol at civic, sporting, festivals and public events

8c. Monitor compliance with alcohol byelaws

9b. Communicate the process for granting and renewal of alcohol licenses

Alcohol Marketing  

10 Reduce the exposure of children to alcohol marketing in public places

10c. Advocate for reducing exposure of children to alcohol marketing in public places

Enforcement of Legislation  

12 Continue to enforce legislation and bye-laws relating to alcohol

12a. Monitor and support enforcement of legislation in relation to sale and supply of alcohol e.g. sale to and for minors, drink driving, not selling to intoxicated people

C: Screening, treatment and support service

Aim: To use information and research in decision making to prevent and reduce alcohol-related harm in Galway City

Goals

Priority Actions 2017

Screening, Support and Brief Advice  

13 Increase the availability of screening and brief advice

14 Promote and advocate for the development of treatment and support services to meet the needs of people affected by alcohol

13a&b Promote use of screening and brief advice and SAOR training

14a. Communicate information on alcohol treatment, support and rehabilitation options for people living in Galway City

14b. Advocate for adequate level of services in Galway City to prevent and reduce alcohol-related harm

14f. Provide information and supports to those affected by another’s drinking

14g. Support the implementation of the Western Region Drug and Alcohol Task Force Family Support Strategy

D: Research, monitoring & evaluation

Aim: To use information and research in decision making to prevent and reduce alcohol-related harm in Galway City

Goals

Priority Actions 2017

Research  

15 Increase knowledge of evidence based practice in preventing and reducing alcohol-related harm

15a. Communicate evidence based practice in preventing and reducing alcohol-related harm

15c. Support research on the burden of alcohol for the Emergency Department

Monitoring and Evaluation  

16 Monitor and evaluate the progress and impact of this strategy

16a. Galway Healthy Cities alcohol forum will monitor implementation of the 2017 action plan through quarterly meetings and annual review event

16b. Undertake an evaluation of the implementation of Galway Alcohol Strategy

2016 ACTION PLAN: PROGRESS UPDATE

A: PREVENTION

Public Awareness

  • Website - www.galwayalcoholstrategy.ie 926 unique visitors updates and feature - 38 news items
  • Local media – 10 local media articles and radio pieces generated via the Galway Alcohol Forum
  • Presentation to Galway City Joint Policing Committee on issues relating to preventing and reducing alcohol related harm in Galway City
  • Promotion of ‘Research evidence to prevent alcohol-related harm: What communities can do in Ireland (Hope, 2015)’
  • Two information seminars in collaboration with Western Drugs and Alcohol Task Force - Alcohol and Cancer (29 people), Alcohol and Older People ( 36 people)

Policy Development

  • One policy workshop delivered to assist with development of alcohol policy
  • Submission made on Draft Open Spaces and Beaches Bye Laws
  • Integration of relevant Galway City Alcohol Strategy actions into Early Years Plan for Galway City, Western Region Drug and Alcohol Family Support Strategy and NUI Galway alcohol group

Protecting Children and Young People

  • Commenced collating information on protecting children and young people from alcohol related harm
  • Promotion of local initiatives that are alcohol free e.g. Park Run, Get Ireland Active

 

B: Supply, Access and Availability

Alcohol Price

  • Contacted all Oireachtas members to continue to advocate for introduction of Public Health (Alcohol) Bill 2015 which includes Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP)

Alcohol Availability

  • Communication with TDs advocating for support for introduction of Public Health Bill
  • Submission to City Development Plan (2017 – 2023) in relation to issues affecting the availability of alcohol
  • Updated list of alcohol licenses and map of outlets in Galway City (281 licenses Galway City)
  • Licensing renewal system process communicated through website and mailing list

Alcohol Marketing

  • Briefing document prepared for Alcohol Forum on alcohol marketing in public places
  • Alcohol images that appeal to young people captured as part of European project – 590 images capture

Enforcement of Legislation

  • A total of 156 drink driving arrests in Galway City District – An Garda SIochana

 

C: Screening, Treatment and support Services

  • Six SAOR training courses delivered in Galway City by Drugs Task Force – Westside (11) GMIT (10) Ozanam House (12) HSE (11) NUIG (13) Probation Services (15)
  • Information card on support services for alcohol in Galway City developed and printed
  • Family Support Strategy and Handbook developed and launched by Western Region Drug and Alcohol Task Force
  • Work commenced on identifying alcohol related presentations at Emergency Department in University Hospital Galway led by NUI Galway and HSE

 

D: Research, monitoring and evaluation

Research

  • Galway City Alcohol Survey Summary Report prepared and printed
  • Presentation at annual NUIG Health Promotion Summer Conference
  • Summary report from Galway City Alcohol Survey completed including media release

Monitoring

  • Galway Alcohol Forum met three times in 2016 and organised an annual review and planning session - 27 people attended
  • Ongoing monitoring of strategy implementation through progress reports and outputs.