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A new alcohol service for Liverpool is being launched today (Monday 21st November) as new figures suggest that people with liver disease have a lower survival rate than those with common cancers.

The Liverpool Community Alcohol Service (LCAS) is a joint venture between Aintree University Hospital and Mersey Care NHS Trust. The NHS service will combine addiction experts from mental health services with hospital specialists, including alcohol nurses and Gastroenterologists.

Dr Steve Hood, Liver Specialist at Aintree University Hospital said: “Twice as many people are admitted to hospital with alcohol related symptoms today compared to ten years go. Some people with breast and bowel cancer now have a better chance of survival compared to severe alcoholic liver disease. The Liverpool Community Alcohol Service aims to address the physical illnesses alcohol can cause, while also supporting people with education and support to control their drinking.

“Alcohol admissions are rising by 11 per cent each year and the NHS cannot sustain this. By talking about the problem and doing something about it we can hopefully change people’s behaviour and encourage people living in the city to take a healthier and more informed approach to their drinking.”

Mohammad Faizal, Consultant Psychiatrist and Clinical Director for Addiction Services at Mersey Care NHS Trust said: “People with alcohol problems are at increased risk of mental health problems. Chronic alcohol consumption increases the risk of depression, anxiety, psychosis, memory problems and suicide.

This joint partnership between acute and mental health NHS trust will provide a seamless care for patients in community or Hospital setting based on their needs. This partnership will enable integration of physical and mental health needs for people dependent on alcohol delivered by skilled professionals within the same team.

The launch of the service is part of wider event looking at how health services can work together to break the cycle of alcohol abuse in the North West.

Dr Aric Sigman, a leading figure in preventative health related to children and alcohol, is one of the key guests.

He has recently published Alcohol Nation: How to protect our children from today's drinking culture, a book specifically addressing British children, adolescents and alcohol

The former health educator on the BBC’s classic Going Live series said: “The alcohol problem in the UK begins in the home. We learn behaviour and what is normal, and our attitude to alcohol is no different.

“If we can educate young people and encourage them to develop healthy attitudes towards alcohol we can halt the epidemic of alcohol addiction that we are seeing in this country.”

The new Liverpool Community Alcohol Service has bases in Aintree University Hospital, the Royal Liverpool Hospital and runs clinics across the city. For more information and to find out how to access the service, call 0151 529 4504.