NHS handled one million alcohol-related hospital admissions

NHS handled one million alcohol-related hospital admissionsHospitals faced nearly one million alcohol-related admissions in just 12 months, new data reveals. 

In 2019/20, the NHS handled around 976,000 cases – marking a rate of 1,815 admissions per 100,000 people.

This is up from the 938,000 admissions recorded in 2018/19.

Men make up the majority of cases, with male admissions standing at almost three times the figure for women.

The data considers admissions where an alcohol-related condition is either the primary or one of the secondary diagnoses.

Dangerous infatuation

The worst places for alcohol-related hospital admissions in 2019/20 were:

  • Liverpool – 11,485
  • Manchester – 8,998
  • Southampton – 8,088
  • Sunderland – 7,246
  • Stoke-on-Trent – 6,522
  • Salford – 6,354
  • Newcastle Upon Tyne – 6,274
  • South Tyneside – 4,106
  • Blackpool – 3,947
  • Hartlepool – 2,582

Nuno Albuquerque is head of treatment at UKAT.

‘The NHS was crippled to the tune of nearly one million alcohol-related hospital admissions in 2019/20; the third consecutive annual rise,’ he said.

‘Clearly, we are a society dangerously infatuated with alcohol, especially those living in the north.

‘Considering it 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?’


He added: ‘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.’

However new data also shows that one in six (16.2%) of all UK adults do not drink alcohol.

This is up from the 15.5% in 2014, according to Public Health England (PHE).

On average, alcohol-related harm costs the NHS around £3.5 billion every year.

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