Debate Magazine

Alcohol-related NHS Admissions up by 1,000 Per Cent in Three Years. Allegedly.

Posted on the 16 October 2014 by Markwadsworth @Mark_Wadsworth

From the archives:
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BBC, 14 February 2011:The number of admissions to hospital in the UK because of problem drinking could rise to 1.5 million a year by 2015, a charity says.
Alcohol Concern estimates that it will cost the NHS £3.7bn annually if nothing is done to stop the increase... The charity says the number of people being treated in hospital for alcohol misuse has gone from 500,000 in 2002-3 to 1.1 million in 2009-10.

BBC, 26 May 2011:The number of alcohol-related hospital admissions in England has topped 1m for the first time, according to official statistics.
An NHS Information Centre report said admissions had increased by 12% between 2008/9 and 2009/10... The number of admissions reached 1,057,000 in 2009/10 compared with 945,500 in 2008/9 and 510,800 in 2002/3.

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From The Daily Mirror, yesterday:
Heavy boozers are putting the NHS under “intolerable strain” and risk sparking a health crisis which will cost the country billions, a charity claimed yesterday. Alcohol Concern said 9.9million NHS admissions in England – including hospital patients and clinic and A&E visits – were related to alcohol last year...
While A&E admissions accounted for six in 10 alcohol-related hospital visits, inpatient admissions were responsible for almost two thirds of the total cost burden of £2.8 billion, according to the charity.

Way to go!
Wild estimate of alcohol-related admissions revised up from one million to ten million in the space of three years, but somehow the wild estimate of cost has drifted down from £3.7 billion to £2.8 billion.
They mention lots of figures for the cost of treatment of very specific ailments, but those are in the millions, not billions, so barely worth adding up.
NB, that £2.8 billion is less than three per cent of the total NHS budget and only a small fraction of total revenues from taxes on booze.


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