Rise in North East’s over 60s admitted to hospital for alcohol

There have been more alcohol-related hospital admissions for over 60s in the North East.
There have been more alcohol-related hospital admissions for over 60s in the North East.
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The number of alcohol-related hospital admissions for over 60s has gone up in the region.

A plea has been issued by the region’s alcohol office, Balance, to protect older residents from alcohol harm.

In the North East there has been a 77% increase in the number of “wholly attributable” alcohol-related hospital admissions since 2006/2007 for over 60s.

Alongside this, figures have also shown that one in five people over 65 in the North East drink in excess of what is recommended by the Government.

A debate relating to this topic was led by Fiona Bruce MP in Parliament.

Colin Shevills is director of Balance. He said: “The figures around older people and alcohol are worrying to say the least and more needs to be done around identifying these problems and, more importantly, prevention.

“It’s a positive step that this debate is taking place and we need to raise awareness of this issue and address it.”

The director also said that alcohol is too cheap, too available and too heavily promoted – and that this needs to change.

He continued: “We must also implement policy changes at a national level. A minimum unit price of at least 50p will make cheap, strong, alcohol less affordable to the vulnerable, younger and heavier drinkers who are more likely to drink it and suffer the consequences.”

In England, there has been a 93% increase in alcohol-related deaths for those over 55, and a 79% increase in alcohol-related deaths for over 75s. These figures are for between 1994 and 2013.