Booze cases ‘low’ in Welwyn Hatfield

THE number of alcohol-related hospital admissions for adults in Welwyn Hatfield is among the lowest in the country.

A report published last week revealed people living in the borough are among the least likely to suffer alcohol-related harm.

In terms of hospital admissions due to conditions wholly related to booze – such as alcoholic liver diesease or alcohol overdose – Welwyn Hatfield was ranked fourth out of 326 local authority areas for women, and 10th for men.

And for alcohol-attributable hospital admissions – such as stomach cancer and unintentional injury – Welwyn Hatfield rated third for women and sixth for men.

The findings of the North West Public Health Observatory’s report have been welcomed by NHS Hertfordshire.

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Dr Jenny Deeny, public health consultant, said: “It is pleasing to see that in general, people living in Welwyn Hatfield appear to be less affected by alcohol related harm than other parts of the country.

“The profiles show that Welwyn Hatfield is one of the areas of the country where fewest people are admitted to hospital for alcohol-related harm or with conditions associated with alcohol.”

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However, Dr Deeny said more could be done to reduce alcohol consumption further and improve the overall health of the region.

“While Welwyn Hatfield compares well to other areas of England on these issues, it still means that hundreds of local people each year end up in hospital because of harmful drinking,” she said.

Alcohol-specific hospital admissions for those aged under 18 in Welwyn Hatfield were good but not as great as the adults – this group came 75th out of 326 in the national ranking.

Dr Deeny continued: “It is also concerning to see that for under 18s, alcohol seems to be a factor in a number of hospital admissions.

“Our first aim is to try and reduce the number of people drinking irresponsibly.

“We go into schools, colleges and universities to help young people understand the harm that drinking alcohol can cause and we also train our NHS staff [pharmacists and GPs] to spot people early on who may be developing problems with their drinking.”

She added: “For those people who we identify as having problems with alcohol we have a range of services available to support them.

“There is a countywide counselling service in place and for those people with more severe problems we also can provide care in specialist hospitals to help people overcome their dependence on alcohol.”

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