The Government’s Office for Health Improvement & Disparities has released new official statistics showing that in 2019–2020, the NHS was hit with nearly one million alcohol-related hospital admissions. This is the third consecutive annual rise in alcohol-related hospital admissions, up from 938,623 in 2018–2019, 870,082 in 2017–2018 and 841,761 in 2016–2017.
The 976,425 broad alcohol-related hospital admissions in 2019–2020 represent a staggering rate per 100,000 people of 1,815. The data considers hospital admissions where either the primary diagnosis or one of the secondary diagnoses is an alcohol-related condition, painting an obvious picture of how impactful alcohol is on determining whether the patient has to be admitted into the 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, people living in the country’s most deprived areas are being admitted into hospitals, with a rate of 2,274 per 100,000 compared to living in the least deprived area where the alcohol-related admission rate sits at just 1,401 per 100,000.
The alcohol-related admission rate in East Devon, for example, is 1,048 per 100,000 compared to 4,067 per 100,000 in Southampton, adding fuel to the North and South divide debate.
Alcohol-addiction experts UKAT have analysed the morning’s data and revealed that the top ten areas with the highest alcohol-related hospital admissions are l in the North and have worsened since the previous year.
Number of alcohol-related hospital admissions 2019–2020
Rate per 100,000 in 2019–2020
Newcastle Upon Tyne
Nuno Albuquerque, head of treatment at the alcohol addiction experts UKAT, commented: ‘The NHS was crippled to the tune of nearly one million alcohol-related hospital admissions in 2019/20; the third consecutive annual rise. We are seriously captivated with alcohol.’
‘Considering alcohol is a legal substance associated with having a good time, it is causing many problems not just for the individuals consuming it but also 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.’
He added: ‘The Government has made some encouraging noise recently about their plans for drug reform, but as always, the 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.’
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