whiskey in glass with decanter in background

The number of alcohol-related NHS admissions reached almost 10 million in England during 2012-13, according to recently-published statistics. 

A total of 9.9million admissions were reported in findings taken from Alcohol Concern’s Alcohol Harm Map with accident and emergency accounting for six in every ten alcohol-related hospital visits. However, inpatient admissions were responsible for almost two thirds of the total cost incurred. The new Alcohol Harm Map also shows that:9.6 million people in England are now drinking in excess of Government guidelines of whom 2.4 million are classed as high risk

The cost of inpatient admissions partly attributable to alcohol was £1.3bn almost 3 times greater than the cost of those which were wholly attributable (£518m). There was a £708m cost to the NHS for hypertensive disease inpatient admissions attributable to alcohol consumption alone. Alcohol is attributable for almost half of all head and neck cancer inpatient admissions at a cost to the NHS of £65.3m. Just over 13% of all malignant neoplasm of breast inpatient admissions were attributable to alcohol at a cost to the NHS of £27.1m. Alcohol Concern Chief Executive Jackie Ballard said: “The NHS is now facing an intolerable strain from alcohol-related illnesses. “This is not just from readily-identifiable causes such as A&E visits and admissions for liver disease but from a significant number of other conditions in which alcohol plays a major but often underappreciated part.

“We need to ensure adequate alcohol care pathways are prioritised and appropriate services are put in place to ease this burden. However we also urgently need action to prevent alcohol misuse; the first and most effective of which is for the government to implement a minimum unit price which has the potential to save the economy millions and most importantly save lives.”