Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 17°C

min temp: 13°C

ESTD 1874 Search

West Suffolk: Number of those admitted to A&E multiple times for drinking and drugs rising

10:00 05 February 2014

Number of patients admitted to hospital more than once because of drinking and drugs has increased

Number of patients admitted to hospital more than once because of drinking and drugs has increased

Archant © 2006

More people than ever before are being repeatedly admitted to west Suffolk’s under pressure emergency department after drinking or taking drugs.


New figures have revealed that last year one individual was treated 54 times at West Suffolk Hospital - more than once a week - for an alcohol-related condition.

In all, 320 people were admitted to A&E at the Hardwick Lane site on more than one occassion in 2012/2013, up 61% (121) from 2008/2009.

During the same five year period the number of people seen multiple times in a year for conditions related to drug-taking has also almost doubled, with one individual being seen a record 18 times in 2012/2013.

Health bosses last night said they were working with specialist providers to raise awareness of the harm caused by alcohol and substance abuse.

Dr Alan Murray, Suffolk County Council cabinet member for Health and Adult Care said: “While these figures show an increase in those being readmitted for drug and alcohol related issues, they only tell part of the story. Clearly we want to support people to the point where they no longer need urgent care at our accident and emergency departments, but this can be a complex process with many factors affecting each person’s recovery.”

He added: “For some time, we have worked with the health profession and specialist providers to raise awareness of the harm that can be caused by alcohol and substance misuse, and support available. With a greater overall awareness of the issue, we are seeing more people seeking help to recover, which could partly account for the increase in readmissions.”

Dr Murray said it was also necessary to put the emergency admissions in the context of other treatment taking place across Suffolk. Eight hundred people received treatment in the form of counselling, detoxification or medical and psychological interventions in 2011/12, rising to more than 850 in 2012/2013. With regard to drug treatments, 1,400 were supported in Suffolk during 2011/12, increasing slightly by 2012/2013.

Dr Murray added: “There are other contributory factors that are not clear from the figures, namely how many of these patients are already in alcohol treatment, or have a mental health diagnosis, and whether they come from all parts of the county or just the West Suffolk area.”

The publication of the figures under the Freedom of Information Act follows the opening of the Clinical Decision Unit (CDU) in December last year at West Suffolk Hospitalto deal with a ‘significant increase’ number of admissions to A&E.

During the planning stages of the CDU, documents suggested that the unit would help keep people safe while the effects of drink and drugs wore off – allowing treatment and prognosis to take place.



Motorists were sent on a diversion nearly 30miles (47.7km) long

We all bemoan the diversions which close the highways and byways of Suffolk when roadworks are set up.

The Orwell Bridge

There have been a number of crashes on the county’s roads this morning.

Mr Kathirithamby, the premises licence holder and director of KVS Food and Wine Ltd, in Bramford Road, was fined £803 and had his personal licence revoked after pleading guilty to selling alcohol to  children

An Ipswich man has pleaded guilty to selling alcohol to children from his shop.

Campaigners have been calling for a by-pass for decades.

Local councils are to spend £500,000 in a bid to kick-start proposals for a four villages’ by-pass – a move that could see the road opened by 2021.

The homeless in Ipswich tuck in to a hot meal at the Ipswich Winter Night Shelter. Photograph Simon Parker

The Ipswich Winter Night Shelter has launched a drive for volunteers ahead of opening its doors on December 2.

The Northgate High School team competing at a regional heat in Ford Dunton

Northgate High School pupils are preparing for a grand prix experience as they compete in the finals of the Greenpower International Kit Car competition.

Work is being stepped up at hospitals in Suffolk and north Essex to deal with “bed blocking” after new figures revealed more than 38,000 “bed days” have been lost because of the issue since 2012.

Ipswich Crown Court.

A Suffolk man who sexually assaulted two schoolgirls has been jailed for 10 and a half years.

Gold cross pendants stolen in burglary in Inglis Road, Colchester, made from the wedding rings of the victim's late parents

Detectives want to find stolen four gold cross pendants made from the wedding rings worn by the victim’s late parents.

Paul Clement, chief executive of Ipswich Central

A major conference aimed at pushing ahead with dramatic changes to Ipswich town centre is to be held at the end of this month.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages