Alcohol and the NHS Health Check programme: Could we be left with a hangover?
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Alcohol misuse costs the NHS in the order of £2.7 billion per year; the total annual cost to the UK economy has been calculated at up to £25.1 billion. This article will examine if the Department of Health?s NHS Health Check programme policy launched in April 2009 has missed an important opportunity to contribute to tackling the growing health and economic burden of alcohol misuse. The authors believe that alcohol 'identification and brief advice' (IBA) should be a standard requirement for this programme. Consequently the article also provides a practical over view of the principles of IBA.