Calls for crackdown on cheap alcohol after hospital admission rise

Campaigners are calling for a crackdown on cheap alcohol after a record rise in the number of people admitted to hospital as a result of drink.

Rates have risen by 6.9 per cent in the North East compared to 6.4 per cent nationally.

Alcohol campaign group Balance called the figures a "public health emergency."

A spokesman for the NHS said it is working with hospitals to roll out alcohol care teams.

England has reached a new all-time high in alcohol-related hospital admissions, up from 1.17 million in 2017 to 1.26 million in 2018.

Rates of adult admissions which are completely down to alcohol consumption are rising at even faster rates.

For under-18s though admissions, have fallen by more than 4% in the North East.

The new figures, from the Office of National Statistics and Public Health England also show alcohol is 74% more affordable than it was in 1987.

The charity has said that in the North East, alcohol results in around 1,500 deaths a year (2018) while it costs the NHS £209 million a year for services such as hospital admissions, A&E attendances, ambulance callouts and treatment for alcohol dependency (2015-16).

Colin Shevills, director of Balance, said:

The charity has suggested introducing an alcohol duty escalator.

A spokesman for the NHS said it is working with hospitals to roll out alcohol care teams.