NHS Confederation comments on NHS Information Centre statistics on alcohol

Published on Thursday, 07 June 2012 16:26
Posted by Scott Buckler

Jo Webber, says figures show the burden of alcohol on the health service is unsustainable.

Commenting on the publication of today's figures on alcohol from the NHS Information Centre, NHS Confederation deputy director of policy Jo Webber, said:

  • "These figures show the burden of alcohol on the health service is unsustainable. Alcohol is already costing the NHS more than £3 billion a year and the problem is taking an intolerable toll on our society.
  • "In some parts of the country more than a fifth of A&E admissions are alcohol related. Drink can be a contributory factor with some of our biggest killers such as cancer. It can also lead to particular difficulties for people with mental health problems.
  • "The fact that only one in 18 people who are dependent on alcohol receives treatment shows we need to up our game. But solving the problem is not something the NHS can do alone.
  • "We need to seriously examine the impact our drinking habits have on our health. And we must look at how the NHS, local and central government, and the justice system work together to minimise the harmful effects alcohol has on individuals, their families and our wider society.
  • “The NHS can of course carry on picking up the tab for our nation’s drinking.  But if it does so without some consideration being given by society as a whole to the price and availability of alcohol, we will be using a sticking plaster solution for a national problem."
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