HOSPITALS IN Yorkshire witnessed some of the highest rates of emergency admissions for alcohol-related liver disease in the country last year, official figures have revealed.
West Yorkshire’s NHS area team was placed fourth in a national rundown of the number of patients seen by medics between April last year and March this year. The total number of 655 admissions equates to 35.3 per 100,000 of the adult population.
Statistics from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) show South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw followed closely behind with 31.6 per every 100,000 people over the age of 18.
Only the North Yorkshire and Humber area team, which saw 318 emergency admissions, did not feature in the top 10 worst-affected regions.
Greater Manchester, Merseyside and Lancashire had the highest rates highlighted on the centre’s map.
HSCIC chair Kingsley Manning said: “This map paints a powerful picture of one of the many impacts that alcohol has on patients and the NHS in this country. This one image depicts what the hundreds of rows of data published today mean for different areas of England.”
Bath, Gloucestershire, Swindon and Wiltshire had the lowest emergency admission rates for the condition which refers to liver damage caused by alcohol misuse.
Death rates linked to alcohol-related liver disease have risen “considerably” over the last few decades, according to the NHS
Health service guidance suggests the most effective way to prevent the condition is to stop drinking or stick to the recommended daily limits, with at least two alcohol-free days a week.
Nationally hospitals admitted 10,500 cases of alcohol-related liver disease between April 2013 and March 2014, according to HSCIC.
A further breakdown for clinical commissioning groups - known as CCGs - shed further light on the scale of the problem at a local level.
Leeds fared particularly badly, with 136 admissions in the Leeds South area in the 12-month period recorded. In Leeds West, there were 117.
It is hoped the GP-led groups, which were brought in to replace primary care trusts in 2012, will use statistics to
Mr Manning added: “The data about alcohol related liver disease is the first such provisional data to be published at such a local level. It should act as basis to help commission services effectively.”
The revelation comes following the All Parliamentary Party Group on Alcohol Misuse’s call to introduce caution labels on alcohol products, made last month. They said that health warnings similar to those which feature on tobacco products were needed to reduce the £21bn cost of alcohol-related harm to the public purse every year.
Lord Brooke of Alverthorpe, the vice-chairman, said: “Not only does it cost lives but burdens the NHS and the criminal and justice systems and others with ever increasing costs.