A new 1, 1.1 million study led by the University of Stirling seeks to understand recent changes in the working hours of bars and nightclubs and how these changes are affecting health, crime levels and emergency services in Scotland.
Funded by the public health program of the National Institute for Health Research, the project will focus on Aberdeen and Glasgow – where, prior to the closure of KOVID-19, some premises were licensed.
It will be the first study in the UK to look at how working hours affect ambulance calls and crime, along with research into the impact on public services and business. The study will inform future licensing decisions on premises, policies and laws in the UK and internationally.
Professor Niam Fitzgerald, director of the Institute for Social Marketing and Health (ISMH) at the University of Stirling, specializes in alcohol policy and is the lead researcher on the study.
International evidence suggests that selling alcohol late at night is associated with an increased rate of seizures, injuries and disturbances. In the UK alone, ambulance calls due to alcohol are estimated at more than 171,000 a year, costing around милиони 52 million. However, there are no studies in the UK that look at how working hours affect ambulance calls or how they lead to changes in business practices, police services, health services and wider economic costs.
Our study aims to understand and assess the impact of later working hours on alcohol-related harm, services and costs in Aberdeen and Glasgow, including specific groups and implications for other cities in the UK if similar changes are made. We will also try to understand local experiences of changes in bar / pub working hours during the KOVID-19 pandemic and any lasting impact of changes such as curfew and sales in turn. ”
Professor Niam Fitzgerald, Director of the Institute for Social Marketing and Health (ISMH) at the University of Stirling
The project “Evaluating Later or Extended Alcohol Facilities in the Night Economy” (ELEFANT) will build on previous studies in Norway, Amsterdam and Australia that found that even opening one hour after midnight leads to significantly more seizures or emergency calls. alcohol-related help.
In the UK, councils control working hours through a licensing system. In Aberdeen, from the end of 2018, about 30 rooms that were previously closed at 1 am were allowed to close later, some until 3 am In Glasgow, from May 2019, 10 nightclubs were allowed to change the closing time from 3 to 4 p.m. In both cases, healthcare professionals were unable to call robust evidence in the UK to inform their response to the changes. The premises were allocated at later hours under specific licensing conditions designed to minimize any potential for increased harm arising from additional hours of alcohol sales.
The new study will be divided into five parts:
- Focus on understanding why the changes occurred, what effects were expected and how they affected public services and businesses.
- Identify whether and when bars and nightclubs use their overtime (before and during a pandemic) and investigate what happens during later opening periods – including who is on the spot, alcohol and drug use, violence and how the site is maintained works
- Using data from the Scottish Ambulance Service and the Scottish Police to investigate whether changes in alcohol and seizure ambulance calls resulted in later working hours and whether there were any changes in certain population groups, periods of day and locations.
- Evaluation of any costs / benefits of the changes, including cost impacts on health and police services, as well as business entities.
- Identify whether other local councils in the UK are considering similar changes and model the likely impact of the changes on inequalities, long-term health and healthcare costs for both Glasgow and Aberdeen and other locations in the UK.
Professor Fitzgerald added: “Our research will be by far the most methodologically rigorous and in-depth study of the additional availability of late-night alcohol in the UK, informed by systemic thinking. Using a variety of research methods and relying on the multidisciplinary expertise of our team, we are ideally positioned to tailor the study to capture and respond to changes in thinking and policy about licensed premises post-KOVID-19, supported by excellent student Management board.
“The findings will be useful for police and health services, local government and politician licensing teams and delegated and national governments, as well as for community and homeowners in the UK and internationally.”
The study will last for three years. Co-researchers include Professor Carol Emsley (University of Glasgow Caledonia); Professor Emma McIntosh and Professor Jimmy Lucy (both from the University of Glasgow); Colin Angus (University of Sheffield); Elina Smith (NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde); Dr. Andrea Mohan (University of Dundee); and Dr. David Fitzpatrick (Scottish Ambulance Service). Additional support is provided by Aidan Collins in Alcohol Focus Scotland.
ISMH – which has celebrated its 40th anniversary since the beginning of this year – is the UK’s leading social marketing research center with over 40 years of experience in public health policy research, behavior change and commercial marketing. His work is internationally recognized and has informed policies and legislation in the UK and around the world.