Alcohol hospital admissions in Cornwall rise

Hospital admissions because of alcohol has been increasing by about 10% each year according to the NHS in Cornwall.

Figures for 2009/2010 show there were 26,806 alcohol attributable admissions in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

From April, councils take on more responsibility for health. Reducing alcohol-related harm has been deemed a priority.

The NHS public health team in Cornwall estimates 66,000 people in the county are binge drinkers.

The research from the NHS stated around a quarter of adults regularly drink above recommended safe levels.

It said 4.4% (19,500 people) of the population in Cornwall are causing themselves actual harm.

'Alcohol available'

Although hospital admissions for under 18-year-olds were falling, patients as young as their early 20s were being admitted to hospital with alcohol-related liver disease.

Jez Bayes, the alcohol strategy lead for Cornwall Council, said: "What we want to do is try and do more proactive work earlier in someone's treatment journey before it becomes a hospital admission before the alcohol issue becomes a really big problem."

He said there was increasing evidence older people are also drinking more because "alcohol is so much more available."

Felicity Owen, director of Public Health for Cornwall and Isles of Scilly, said: "We're seeing a rise of eight to 10% increase year-on-year in alcohol-related illnesses.

"We very much want to push that back down the other way so we see a decrease next year."

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