The number of alcohol-related hospital admissions in England has exceeded one million in a year for the first time, a report has found.
Figures compiled by the NHS Information Centre for the year 2009-2010 revealed 1,057,000 hospital visits in relation to alcohol, a 12 per cent increase on the previous year and more than double the amount recorded in 2002-2003.
The statistics, which cover the period of April 2009 to the end of March 2010, were published in the NHS IC’s annual report, Statistics on Alcohol: England 2011.
A breakdown of the figures showed that 63 per cent of the hospital admissions were for men and found that there were higher rates of alcohol-related admissions for older adult age groups than their younger counterparts.
The report also looked at prescriptions data, revealing that alcohol dependency cost the NHS £2.41m in prescription items last year, an increase of 1.4 per cent on the amount spent in the previous year. The figures for alcohol-related prescription items were highest in the North West and the North East, and lowest in London, according to the research.
Tim Straughan, chief executive of the NHS Information Centre, said: “Today’s report shows the number of people admitted to hospital each year for alcohol-related problems has topped one million for the first time. The report also highlights the increasing cost of alcohol dependency to the NHS as the number of prescription items dispensed continues to rise.
“This report provides health professionals and policy makers with a useful picture of the health issues relating to alcohol use and misuse. It also highlights the importance of policy makers and health professionals in recognising and tackling alcohol misuse which, in turn, could lead to savings for the NHS.”