The Government’s Office for Health Improvement & Disparities has released new official statistics showing that in 2019/20, NHS services in Chorley were hit with an 18 percent rise in annual alcohol-related hospital admissions.
2,453 people were admitted in Chorley hospital in 2019/20, rising from 2,067 the previous year. 1,812 were male and 641 were female admissions.
This is the fourth consecutive annual rise in alcohol-related hospital admissions here, up from 1,950 in 2017/18 and 1,860 in 2016/17.
This new data takes into account hospital admissions where either the primary diagnosis or one of the secondary diagnoses is an alcohol-related condition, painting a very clear picture of how impactful alcohol is on determining whether the patient has to actually be admitted into hospital.
Detailed analysis of the Government’s data by Alcohol-addiction experts UKAT has delved into the reasons why people across Chorley were admitted into hospital.
UKAT’s analysis shows that in 2019/20, 295 people were admitted for alcoholic liver disease, up 35% on the previous year.
A staggering 657 people were admitted for mental and behavioural disorders due to alcohol in 2019/20, up 52% on the previous year.
989 people were admitted for alcohol-related cardiovascular disease, up 5% on the previous year.
The remaining admissions are for alcohol-related unintentional injuries and intentional self-poisoning by and exposure to alcohol.
Nuno Albuquerque, Head of Treatment at the alcohol addiction experts UKAT said: "Chorley and South Ribble Hospital was hit with over 2,000 alcohol-related admissions in 2019/20, the highest on record. The problem here is worsening and is putting a lot of strain on the NHS.
"We'd hope that Chorley Council would now look at these figures and take real, effective action. We're also calling on the Government to reinstate ring fenced budgets for awareness, education and treatment of alcohol related problems which will force the Council into spending the money on these services.
“If they don't, the problem with alcohol in Chorley could become a much bigger beast to tame in the next couple of years than anyone could imagine."
Responding, Leader of Chorley Council Alistair Bradley said: “We know alcohol addiction is a problem, not just local to Chorley, but across the country and it is very much a joint effort between ourselves, the NHS, government and other providers to support people who find themselves in this situation and prevent people from succumbing to addiction in the first place.
“The last 18 months has been difficult for everyone and it’s not just alcohol addiction but there are many other factors such as mental health, loneliness, fuel poverty and poor diet that can have a detrimental impact on people’s lives.”
He added: “That’s why we focus on early intervention and prevention and work closely with our colleagues in the NHS to identify people who may need support and get it to them as early as we can so people are not having to put extra demands on our hospitals.
“We are already taking action but we can’t solve this on our own – it needs everyone to work together.
“If people do find themselves struggling then we’d urge them to get in touch with their GP or contact us for support.”
For anyone struggling, 24/7 confidential help and support with alcohol can be found at www.ukat.co.uk/alcohol/v106/