National Health Chiefs say there is increasing frustration that the service, said to be the jewel in Britain’s crown, is being used as the “National Hangover Service.”
Recent statistics reveal that more than a third of attendances to casualty at peak times are as a result of drunkenness. The head of the NHS Simon Stevens has now slammed revellers for being “selfish” if they get so “blotto” at New Year that they need to go to A&E.
Mr Stevens said that party lifestyles were putting increasing strain on NHS hospitals and paramedics at a time when the health service is under pressure as a result of an ageing population. Research has also shown that British girls are among the most likely to get drunk.
The warning comes as paramedics and A&E doctors and nurses prepare themselves for a busy New Year’s Eve. It is believed that hospital admissions could as much as double as a result of casualties caused by drunkenness and drug use.
Binge drinking, drugs and STDs
Mr Steven’s warning comes following research which revealed that the UK was one of the worst countries in the world for binge drinking, drug taking and STDs. He said that an ambulance which was called out to a drunk reveller who had passed out on the street meant that a crew was unavailable for a genuine medical emergency such as a heart attack or accident.
Statistics released by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development have revealed that girls in Britain have one of the worst records for consuming alcohol. The UK was one of only three countries anywhere in the world where girls drank more than boys – the others were Sweden and Malta. The UK was also found to have the higest cocaine usage among young people, and the highest rates of gonorrhoea.
Analysis of NHS statistics reveals that there are 2.6 times as many cases of people admitted to casualty as a result of intoxication on New Year’s Day than on the average day.