Number of people being admitted to hospital because of alcohol jumps 10 per cent in a year
07:29 GMT, 1 June 2012
Abuse: The number of patients admitted to hospital because they abused alcohol has risen by more than 10 per cent in a year
The number of patients admitted to hospital as a result of alcohol abuse has risen by more than 10 per cent in a year.
Nearly 1.2million were brought in last year with conditions including liver disease, alcohol poisoning or for injuries sustained when drunk.
And this number does not include patients who were treated in A&E and then sent home. It only accounts for the more severely ill who needed to be transferred to other wards.
Figures from the NHS Information Centre show that the numbers of these admissions have more than doubled since 2002 when they were first recorded.
There were 1,168,300 last year, a rise of almost 11 per cent compared to 1,056,900 in 2009/10. In 2002/3 there were just 510,800 such admissions.
Additionally, the NHS spends 2.5million a year on drugs to treat alcoholics. Some 167,800 prescriptions were handed out last year for medicines which are used to help alcoholics abstain by making them sick when they drink.
This is up by 5 per cent compared to the previous year when 160,300 prescriptions were written.
Experts say the total cost of alcohol to the NHS exceeds 3billion a year.
Emily Robinson, of the charity Alcohol Research, said: ‘As a country we face a huge NHS bill because of health problems caused by alcohol.
Waste: Experts say the total cost of alcohol to the NHS exceeds 3billion a year (picture posed by models)
‘That means we need the Government to take action across a whole range of policy areas such as advertising, pricing, availability and investing in treatment to help bring down the number going to hospital because of alcohol.’