NHS chief executive Simon Stevens sent a strong warning to New Year’s Eve revellers this evening, stating the NHS ‘does not stand for ‘National Hangover Service’.
He accused drunken partygoers who end up in A&E after a night of partying of being selfish for wasting precious hospital resources, particularly during the festive period.
Recent figures from the NHS show the number of alcohol-related admissions in A&E increase exponentially to 70 per cent on NYE, compared to an average 15 per cent of patients.
£300,000 has been set aside for staff to fund ‘drunk tanks’ for the festive period, however the annual cost of dealing with alcohol-related admissions blows out to £3.5bn a year - which is £120 for every taxpayer.
On Good Morning Britain, Dr Hilary Jones backed Mr Stevens and made the point that these partygoers should be paying extra for taking up hospital space and staff's time.
“The NHS was never intended to be wiping people's bottoms when they've had too much to drink and lost individual responsibility," he said.
“They abuse paramedics, they bash up the nurses, they take up more time in casualty departments than any other group of people.”
However, British comedian and author Shappi Khorsandi disagreed, believing it puts judgement on people’s lifestyles, and other activities people participate in can be equally as taxing on NHS resources.
“Let’s have a look at other things people do where they put themselves at risk: smoking, eating too many cakes, mountain climbing, jumping out of airplanes. These are all the things we go into knowing there’s a risk," she said.
“We're moralising about people's lifestyle and we're charging them accordingly."