ALCOHOL-related hospital admissions have reached a record high in Warrington, with experts calling for more to be done to tackle the issue which is putting increasing pressures on the town’s hospital.
New data from the Government’s Office for Health Improvement & Disparities reveals that in 2019/20, more than 4,000 alcohol-related admissions in Warrington in 2019-20, while the NHS nationally was hit with nearly one million alcohol-related admissions.
Mr Albuquerque added: “The NHS was crippled to the tune of nearly one million alcohol-related hospital admissions in 2019/20; the third consecutive annual rise. Clearly, we are a society dangerously infatuated with alcohol, especially those living in the North.
Nuno Albuquerque, Head of Treatment at alcohol addiction experts, Runcorn based UK Addiction Treatment Group (UKAT) said “Warrington Hospital was hit with over 4,000 alcohol-related admissions in 2019/20, the highest on record. The problem here is worsening and is putting a lot of strain on the NHS.
“We’d hope that Warrington Council would now look at these figures and take real, effective action. We’re also calling on the Government to reinstate ring-fenced budgets for awareness, education and treatment of alcohol-related problems. If they don’t, the problem with alcohol in Warrington could become a much bigger beast to tame in the next couple of years than anyone could imagine.”
The Office for Health Improvement & Disparities reveals a third consecutive annual rise in alcohol-related hospital admissions nationally, up from 938,623 in 2018/19, 870,082 in 2017/18 and 841,761 in 2016/17.
The 976,425 broad alcohol-related hospital admissions in 2019/20 represent a staggering rate per 100,000 people of 1,815.
The data takes into account hospital admissions where either the primary diagnosis or one of the secondary diagnoses is an alcohol-related condition, painting a very clear picture of how impactful alcohol is on determining whether the patient has to actually be admitted into hospital.
Men make up the vast majority of these hospital admissions; with the number of alcohol-related admissions for men being almost three times the figure for women, 713,550 and 262,875 respectively.
Once again it is people living in the country’s most deprived areas who are being admitted into hospital, with a rate of 2,274 per 100,000 compared to if you lived in a least deprived area where the alcohol-related admission rate sits at just 1,401 per 100,000.
Alcohol-addiction experts UKAT have analysed the data and revealed that the top ten areas with the highest alcohol-related hospital admissions are ALL in the North and have all worsened since the previous year.
“Considering alcohol is a legal substance associated with having a good time, it is causing a lot of problems not just for the individuals consuming it, but for those who look after us. The cost of treatment to the NHS alone will be eye-watering. So why are we not using this as leverage to force ring-fenced budgets for awareness, education and treatment of alcohol-related problems?
“The Government has made some encouraging noise recently about their plans for a drug reform, but as always, this country’s problem with alcohol just gets swept under the table and ignored. We expect this to become a much bigger beast to tame in the next couple of years than anyone could ever imagine.”
24/7 confidential help and support with alcohol can be found at www.ukat.co.uk/alcohol/v106/
A Warrington Borough Council spokesperson said: “We are disappointed to see that Warrington has had an increase in alcohol-related hospital admissions during the 2019-20 period. Excess alcohol consumption can have a devastating impact on lives, if you or anyone you know needs help with their alcohol intake, there’s lots of information and services available that provide a full range of treatment options and guidance for recovery from alcohol misuse. Find out more on our alcohol support service website page.”
“Within Warrington, we have a long-standing record of working closely with key partners to take action to reduce alcohol-related harm locally, particularly through our Alcohol Harm Reduction Strategy, and the town has one of the lowest rates of alcohol-related admissions across the Cheshire and Merseyside region. Our partnership working includes work around prevention of alcohol harm and education about the negative impact drinking can have, including promoting safer drinking messages and the launch of the ‘Lower My Drinking app’ which helps people to monitor and reduce their alcohol consumption.
“Our public health team has also been working on a number of initiatives to reduce these figures, including closely with Warrington Hospital and NHS Warrington Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to develop an Alcohol Care Team at Warrington Hospital. This team will be assisted by in-reach support from the local substance misuse treatment service to help reduce alcohol-related admissions as much as possible.”