Alcohol patients shock hospital figures

EVERY day 24 people are admitted to Suffolk's hospitals due to alcohol, latest figures reveal today.

SUFFOLK: Everyday 24 people are admitted to Suffolk's hospitals due to alcohol, latest figures reveal today.

According to statistics, the number of patients admitted to hospitals within the Suffolk Primary Care Trust have decreased over a two-year period, from 9,570 people in 2007/08, to 8,982 in 2008/09.

This represents about 7 per cent of the total hospital admissions.

Alcohol-related admissions can refer to liver disease caused by alcohol abuse or those who have had an accident due to falling over after excessive amounts of drink.

NHS Suffolk said it has initiatives in place to reduce these types of admissions, including spotting alcohol abuse at an early stage.

Sue Odams, specialty registrar in public health, said: “NHS Suffolk is working with hospitals and GPs and other partner organisations to help reduce the number of alcohol related hospital admissions. There are a number of partnerships involving NHS Suffolk including community safety (working with the police, councils and trading standards) and the Drug and Alcohol Action Team (DAAT Team).

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“GPs are using tools to identify patients with drinking problems who can be referred to the alcohol treatment services. We aim to increase the number of people who are trained in 'brief interventions' - a technique used to identify those with alcohol problems early.”

An enhanced alcohol treatment service will also be launched this June, which will help ensure people with alcohol problems can be identified and treated using the best evidence-based care.

Health chiefs advise people to moderate their alcohol consumption, which is three to four units a day for men, and two to three units a day for women.

For more information visit Healthy Ambitions Suffolk at