Alcohol-related hospital admissions up 30 per cent

PUBLISHED: 07:55 18 February 2019 | UPDATED: 08:10 18 February 2019

Weston General Hospital. Picture: Mark Atherton

Weston General Hospital. Picture: Mark Atherton

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The number of people in North Somerset admitted to hospital due to alcohol-related conditions has risen by 30 per cent in the past 10 years.

Figures from NHS Digital have revealed 4,923 patients were admitted due to the affects of alcohol, or received a diagnosis linked to excessive drinking in 2017/2018.

There were also 107 alcohol-related deaths in North Somerset in 2017.

The figures show more men than women were admitted to hospital due to drink and the majority of people were over the age of 45.

Drug and alcohol charity Addaction is calling for more support for people who are most at risk.

Its spokesman said: “The age group we’re most worried about are the over-50s.

“They’re drinking more than ever and we know that pressures of life like loneliness, grief and or a sense of loss after retirement can all play a part.

“Even when things start to unravel, older adults tend not to come along to alcohol services like ours.

“But there is an increasing need – it’s starting to come through in hospital admissions and quality of life data. We need to get far better at reaching this group.”

She added: “Government policy needs to change. Measures that help very high-risk drinkers have very little to do with individual choices.

“We need minimum unit pricing and we should go further on restricting the availability of cheap, high strength alcohol.”

Addiction treatment specialists UKAT are also calling on North Somerset Council to invest more in drug and alcohol treatment services, as well as early intervention and awareness campaigns.

UKAT chief executive Eytan Alexander said: “The numbers speak for themselves; almost 5,000 people across North Somerset hospitalised because of alcohol and worse still, gradual rises in alcohol-related deaths.

“It’s time to admit there is a problem here, and we call on North Somerset Council to make better budget decisions this coming April and to invest more of their Public Health Grant into local drug and alcohol treatment services, as well as early intervention and awareness campaigns in order to support those most vulnerable.”

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