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Rise in number of boozy patients admitted to A&E

A night on the booze can lead to a night in casualty - increasingly so it seems
A night on the booze can lead to a night in casualty - increasingly so it seems

Drinkers in West Kent are more likely to end up in A&E with serious alcohol problems than anywhere else in the county.

Latest figures show the West Kent PCT, which covers Dartford, Gravesham, Maidstone and the Weald, saw a 17 per cent increase in patients treated in A&E for excess alcohol.

That compares with a county average of a near 10 per cent increase, from 4,185 to 4,589 since 2005.

The statistics from the Information Centre for Health and Social Care report a varying countywide picture of alcohol-related admissions.

The West Kent PCT, which merged with Dartford, Gravesham, Maidstone Weald PCTs in October 2006, saw the numbers treated rise from 1,451 in 2005-2006 to 1,705 in 2006-2007.

Medway PCT saw a rise of 14 per cent in the same period. The 758 patients admitted in 2005 -2006 climbed to 865 in 2006 - 2007.

The Eastern and Coastal Kent PCT saw a slight increase in admissions , with a 2.2 per cent rise between 2005 and 2007.

The PCT was formed in October 2006 following its merger with Ashford, Canterbury, Shepway and Swale PCT s .

The figures relating to the merger for the Eastern and Coastal Kent PCT area for 2006 and 2007 show just over 2,000 patients admitted to hospital for drinking excess alcohol or having drink-related injuries, compared with 1,976 for the separate trusts before the merger.

The PCT said it worked with the Kent Drug and Alcohol Action Team (KDAAT) to deal with the problem of alcohol - related admissions to hospital.

A spokesman from the Eastern and Coastal Kent PCT said: “The PCT recognises the importance of this issue and towards the end of last year the PCT invested in a three year programme (£240,000 per year) to provide an expanded range of alcohol treatment services to complement those already in place. Six new alcohol workers will be providing coverage in Ashford, Canterbury, Dover, Shepway, Swale and Thanet localities.”

He added that screening for alcohol misuse mainly takes place in GP practices and the PCT also offers a community-based service for alcohol misuse that includes counselling and a detox programme.

The figures at a glance:

Countywide - 10 per cent increase in drink-related A&E admissions since 2005

West Kent - 17 per cent increase

Medway - 14 per cent increase

Eastern and Coastal - 2.2 per cent

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