'A ticking time bomb about to explode': Alcohol-related hospital admissions on the rise in Northamptonshire

Alcohol-related hospital admissions in Northamptonshire went up by more than 50 per cent in the last six years - the second-highest rise in the East Midlands.

The county had the third-highest number of people admitted to hospital because of alcohol in the region in 2018/19 at 17,620, according to NHS statistics released last week.

A total of 17,620 people were admitted to hospital in Northamptonshire because of alcoholin 2018/19

A total of 17,620 people were admitted to hospital in Northamptonshire because of alcoholin 2018/19

In 2012/13, that figure was 11,260, equalling a 56 per cent increase which alcohol addiction firm UKAT has found to be second only to Derby.

Nuno Albuquerque, group treatment lead at UKAT, said: “The problem with alcohol in this country is a ticking time bomb about to explode.

"NHS hospitals in particular across the East Midlands 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; drinking 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.

UKAT group treatment lead Nuno Albuquerque

UKAT group treatment lead Nuno Albuquerque

“The question is, why do we still not have an alcohol-specific strategy, as promised back in 2018?

"It is a huge problem and one that needs immediately addressed as a matter of urgency.”

Across the East Midlands in 2018/19, more than 100,000 people were admitted to hospitals because of alcohol - around two-thirds of those were men.

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.”

Northampton and Kettering hospital trusts have been contacted for comment.