District leading way in fight against harm from alcohol

SUFFOLK: People living in the Babergh area are among the least likely to suffer alcohol-related harm in England, figures revealed today.

The Local Alcohol Profiles published by the North West Public Health Observatory reveal that the east of England is one of a few regions to have the lowest figures for alcohol-related harm in terms of hospital admissions.

Babergh is in the top ten local authorities in the country with the lowest levels of alcohol harm.

Dr Anne McConville, deputy regional director of health programmes in the East of England Public Health and Social Care Directorate, said: “It is encouraging to see that harm from alcohol is lower in our region than in England generally but there is much more that needs to be done to reduce the dangers to health from excessive drinking.

“Not only does alcohol have a direct impact on people’s health through illness, it also affects people’s lives through crime, work absence and unemployment related to alcohol consumption.

“Alcohol is a leading cause of health problems in the east of England and results in 85,000 alcohol-related hospital admissions per annum, and nationally more than 9,000 people die from alcohol-related causes each year.

“NHS East of England will continue to work with NHS organisations across the region to raise awareness of the health risks of drinking more than the recommended levels of alcohol.”

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The report also found that alcohol-attributable hospital admissions in the east of England increased at a lower rate in the five years before 2008/09 than the national average.

In this region, the hospital admissions rate for alcohol-related harm increased by 34 per cent from 2004/05 to 2008/09 compared to 38pc nationally.

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