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NHS still failing to tackle alcohol misuse despite rise in admissions

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: (Published 03 August 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b3125
  1. Rebecca Coombes
  1. 1London

    Local health services are failing to tackle alcohol harm despite a sharp climb in related hospital admissions, MPs warned this week. Reducing Alcohol Harm, a report by the UK House of Commons public accounts committee, also found the government’s approach to the United Kingdom’s growing alcohol problem muddled and uncoordinated.

    Alcohol misuse costs the NHS an estimated £2.7bn (€3.2bn; $4.5bn) a year. In 2006-7 there were some 811 000 alcohol related hospital admissions, representing a 71% rise in four years. However, primary care trusts are free to decide for themselves how much to spend on services to tackle alcohol harm. The report found that many trusts did not even know what they spent on such services, and throughout England there is little …

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