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Shaming binge drinkers

The Western Mail reports that plans to shame binge-drinkers into sobriety by filming them before receiving medical treatment have been dropped following “sensitivities” expressed by the Welsh Government.

The paper says that intoxicated revellers were to be recorded as they stumbled into a new Cardiff healthcare facility before being given the option of watching the footage back after sobering up:

The groundbreaking proposal was part of a triage scheme aimed at tackling the city’s binge-drinking culture and easing the pressure drunken patients place on A&E departments.

But the camera idea was dropped shortly after the triage launched in September when the Welsh Government expressed concerns ahead of approving £85,000 of funding.

A spokesman for the Welsh Government told the Western Mail it “expressed concerns about the sensitivities of filming young people”.

Health officials behind the project say they plan to challenge the Welsh Government’s decision in a bid to reinstate the use of filming equipment for the scheme’s final months.

Conrad Eydmann, head of substance misuse strategy and development, based at Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, said: “The Welsh Government didn’t allow it in their approval and the reason they gave to us was that they felt that people under the influence of alcohol wouldn’t be able to competently make the decision as to whether to be filmed or not, but we’re going to be challenging the decision.”

He added: “We will make formal representations to the Minister to explain how service users, the health service professionals and people who come in and use the centre all come and say that it would be a good opportunity to review the footage of themselves. Hopefully they will look on it quite favourably.”

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