Alcohol-related hospital admissions increase 19%

Alcohol consumption caused 358,000 hospital admissions last year, NHS Digital has revealed.

The number of admissions last year was 6% higher than in 2017/18 and 19% higher than a decade ago, according to the Statistics on Alcohol, England 2020. 

The report found that alcohol-related admissions accounted for 2% of overall hospital admissions, which is the same rate as 2017/18, with alcohol-induced mental and behavioural disorder accounting for more than 40,000 admissions.

According to the report, 40% of patients admitted last year were aged between 45 and 64, with men accounting for 62% of alcohol admissions. While 77% of alcohol-related deaths happened in people aged 40 to 69.

However, the review also found that there were 5,698 deaths specifically attributed to alcohol in 2018, this is 2% fewer than in 2017.

A spokesman for NHS Digital said the figures are based on the narrow measure where an alcohol-related disease, injury or condition was the primary reason for a hospital admission or there was an alcohol-related external cause.

While a broader measure that looks at a range of other conditions that could be caused by alcohol shows 1.3 million admissions in 2018/19, this is an 8% increase on 2017/18 and represents 7% of all hospital admissions.

Cllr Ian Hudspeth, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said:

‘These latest figures are another warning of the dangers of regular drinking over a long period of time and the impact this can have on older people

‘Councils are committed to ensuring that all those who need help with alcohol and drug misuse get the right support and treatment. For that to happen they need long-term government investment in public health services, alcohol treatment and prevention. 

‘The Government also needs to urgently tell councils how much public health funding they will get this coming financial year, when they have less than two months left to properly plan for their services.’

The Statistics on Alcohol report was compiled using information from Public Health England Local Alcohol Profiles, which uses data from NHS Digital’s Hospital Episode Statistics.

As well as hospital admissions, it also presented a range of information on alcohol use and misuse by adults and children, which found that 38% of men and 19% of women aged 55 to 64 usually drink more than 14 units of alcohol in a week. And the average household spent £8.70 per week on alcohol in 2017/18 with people aged 65 to 74 racking up the highest average weekly alcohol spend of £10.60 a week.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

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