MP's concern over alcohol deaths
AN MP has spoken of his concern after figures revealed that the number of alcohol-related deaths in Suffolk is the highest in eight years.According to statistics, which have been made available from the House of Commons, the number of alcohol related deaths in the county increased from 40 in 1997 to 64 in 2004 - the largest number for some time.
AN MP has spoken of his concern after figures revealed that the number of alcohol-related deaths in Suffolk is the highest in eight years.
According to statistics, which have been made available from the House of Commons, the number of alcohol related deaths in the county increased from 40 in 1997 to 64 in 2004 - the largest number for some time.
And when broken down into individual local authorities it appears only Ipswich has seen any success in reducing the number of fatalities, with a decline from 11 in 1997 to seven in 2004.
In all other areas of the county the numbers have increased with the number of alcohol related deaths in St Edmundsbury more than doubling from six in 1997 to 14 last year.
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Meanwhile Babergh, Forest Heath, Mid Suffolk, Suffolk Coastal and Waveney have all seen increases in the last eight years, although on a smaller scale.
The figures were made available after David Ruffley, MP for Bury St Edmunds, asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer to provide details showing how many deaths there had been in Suffolk since 1997 where alcohol was cited as the primary cause.
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And the results have prompted the Tory representative to write to Mike Stonard, chief executive of Suffolk West Primary Care Trust, to ask what the organisation is doing to discourage alcoholism.
Mr Ruffley labelled the increase as “disturbing” and assured constituents he would be doing all he could to bring down the numbers in the future.
He said: “These new House of Commons figures reveal alcohol related deaths in St Edmundsbury have more than doubled since 1997 and in 2004, the latest year for which figures are available, there were twice the number seen in Ipswich.
“This is a worrying trend and one we need to make every effort to reverse. Therefore, I have written to Mike Stonard at Suffolk West PCT asking what his trust is doing to combat alcoholism and what explanation, if any, he has for this disturbing increase.
“As the New Year approaches these figures make a serious point and I encourage my constituents across Suffolk to enjoy their celebrations but to exercise good sense while doing so.”