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Taking drinking seriously

Health checks offered to Liverpool men getting the ale in

Published on March 8th 2010.

Taking drinking seriously

IF you go down to the pub today, and you are a bloke, don't be surprised to find somebody wanting to know more about how much you are putting away.

Two Liverpool locals, the Coffee House in Wavertree, and the Red House in Old Swan, are this month the focus of a social marketing initiative by health bodies, which aims to help men be more health aware and realise the effect that alcohol may be having on their physical and emotional wellbeing.

With the strapline, “Drink a little less, see a better you”, men between 35 and 55. are encouraged to book in for a general health check and think about the effect that drinking may have on them. It asks them to consider swapping an alcoholic drink at the end of the night for lower alcohol drinks or soft drinks, with posters in the pub bar and in toilets, branded beer mats as well as a competition to win high street vouchers for those who agree to “wind down”.

Cheshire and Merseyside Hospitals admit nearly 8,000 men a year with conditions linked to alcohol.

The health checks, carried out by Healthworks professionals will cover key issues such as cholesterol, height and weight, blood pressure, blood sugar and general lifestyle issues.

ChaMPs Public Health Network in partnership with Liverpool PCT, NHS Knowsley, local Councils and Trading Standards devised the initiative which makes confidential health checks available in the pub to males aged between 35 and 55. This launch follows a successful trial of the health checks in a Macclesfield pub before Christmas. The initiative is part of the overall alcohol social marketing programme for Cheshire and Merseyside, which aims to reduce levels of hazardous drinking and potentially prevent future alcohol related hospital admissions.

Director of Public Health for Liverpool PCT, Dr Paula Grey said, “This is a great initiative which gets across a serious message in an unusual and creative way. By providing these general health checks we will get to speak directly to men who may be at risk of serious health problems in the near future if they don’t begin to think about reducing the amount they drink now. Our research, amongst males aged 35 – 55, showed that very few are aware of the amount they are drinking or the damage excess drinking can do.

The pubs taking part in the Merseyside area are The Coffee House, 14 Church Rd North, Liverpool L15 6TF (Mar 16). Red House, 598 Prescot Rd, Liverpool L13 5XE (Mar 8 and and Mar 24)

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