Alcohol-related hospital admissions across Hartlepool rocket by more than a third
New figures reveal that the number of alcohol-related hospital admissions across Hartlepool has rocketed by more than a third.
The increase is also among the highest across the region over a period of six years and more than double the North-East’s average of 15%.
It has led a boss at the organisation which unearthed the figures to describe the area’s problems with alcohol as “a ticking time bomb about to explode.”
The UK Addiction Treatment (UKAT) Group statistics, which are compiled from official National Health Service (NHS) data, indicate that 3,310 people from the town received treatment
during 2018-19 where the primary reason or a secondary diagnosis was linked to alcohol.
This is a rise of nearly 36% on the 2,440 patients who were admitted on similar grounds during 2012-13.
Conditions for hospital admission due to alcohol problems include cardiovascular disease, breast cancer, alcohol poisoning and alcoholic liver disease.
Nuno Albuquerque, group treatment lead at UKAT, said: “The problem with alcohol across the North East is a ticking time bomb about to explode.
“NHS Hospitals here are crippling under pressures directly attributable to the misuse of alcohol, a drug that is so socially accepted yet so incredibly dangerous.
“People here are seemingly struggling with their alcohol consumption, consuming so much alcohol that it is leading to hospitalisation and the diagnosis of further debilitating conditions, yet
the Government continues to have their heads buried in the sand.
"These figures also only paint the worst part of the picture. What about the countless others living here struggling with alcohol misuse who aren’t hospitalised?”
The area with the largest rise across the North East was Stockton with a 44% increase from 4,500 admissions in 2012-13 to 6,490 in 2018-19.
Men accounted for 49,790 (64%) of the latest figures with 27,670 (36%) women also admitted in the 12 months to the end of March.
Public health minister Jo Churchill said: “We are determined to do more to support people who are most vulnerable or at risk from alcohol misuse which has a terrible impact on their lives
and their families.
“As part of our NHS Long Term Plan, alcohol care teams will be introduced in hospitals with the highest number of alcohol-related admissions and we expect this to prevent 50,000
admissions from alcohol related harm over five years.”
A spokesman for North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Trust, which runs the University Hospital of Hartlepool, said a patient presenting themselves at Hartlepool would be treated at Stockton’s
North Tees hospital if medicine, orthopaedics and surgery were required.
A trust spokesman said: “Our alcohol-related admission figures are too high and we encourage anyone who drinks to think carefully about the amount of alcohol they consume and to consider the potential negative effects on their body.”
He added that a wealth of information and advice, both in terms of safe drinking and help for people who are abusing alcohol, is available online at www.nhs.uk
The Drinkline national alcohol helpline is also available on 0300 1231110.