Health

Pandemic drinking puts more than 100 people in hospital


Pandemic drinking puts more than 100 people in hospital with worst affected patients in their early 60s or early 70s

  • NHS had 750,000 alcohol-related admissions between last April and December
  • Figures show there were almost 20,000 admissions among those aged 90-plus 
  • Drinkers in their 20s and 30s accounted for a relatively small number of cases 

More than 100 people were hospitalised every hour because of alcohol during the first months of the pandemic.

Official Government data shows the NHS dealt with more than three-quarters of a million alcohol-related admissions between April and December last year.

The figures also reveal that the worst affected were people in their early 60s and early 70s, with more than 94,000 cases. 

Official Government data shows the NHS dealt with more than three-quarters of a million alcohol-related admissions between April and December last year [File photo]

Official Government data shows the NHS dealt with more than three-quarters of a million alcohol-related admissions between April and December last year [File photo]

More than three-quarters of cases involved people over 50 – and there were almost 20,000 admissions among those aged 90-plus. 

By contrast, drinkers in their 20s and 30s accounted for a relatively small number of cases.

Experts also fear that many people who needed treatment as a result of injuries due to alcohol may have stayed away from hospital because of the Covid crisis

Experts also fear that many people who needed treatment as a result of injuries due to alcohol may have stayed away from hospital because of the Covid crisis

The NHS Digital statistics, which include drink-related accidents as well as chronic conditions such as cirrhosis, show there were 773,522 hospital admissions. 

While this is a fall from just over one million for the same period in 2019, concerns are being raised that the figures were so high even though pubs closed for months. 

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Experts also fear that many people who needed treatment as a result of injuries due to alcohol may have stayed away from hospital because of the Covid crisis.

Dr Richard Piper, chief executive of the charity Alcohol Change UK, said: ‘There is an urgent need to offer high-quality treatment and support for all those who are struggling with their drinking.’

Elaine Hindal, head of alcohol- awareness charity Drinkaware, said: ‘Much more needs to be done to support people who drink harmful amounts of alcohol, to reduce health harms, hospital admissions and preventable loss of life.’

Alcohol misuse is estimated to cost the NHS £3.5 billion a year.



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