Turning Point responds to Alcohol Concern report

News item posted: 04 April 2014

Alcohol Concern released a report today which found the cost of hospital admissions linked to heavy drinking in the 55 to 74-year-old age bracket in 2010-11 was more than £825m, revealing that this age group costs the NHS more than any other.

In response to the report, Turning Point's Director of Substance Misuse Services, Jackie Kennedy said, "It is not a surprise that this group costs the NHS more money than any other group. What we are seeing here are the complex health implications that arise from sustained heavy drinking.

We need the NHS to provide more services to identify problem drinking at an earlier stage. If not, we will see this pattern repeating itself, adding to NHS costs further down the line. We know from the support we provide in Gateshead A and E that patients benefit from brief alcohol intervention services in hospitals. By having staff based at A and E they are able to give patients advice and information, alcohol screening, health and unit awareness, as well as signposting to local and national alcohol services.

By combining this with substance misuse education in our schools, like Turning Point's programme in Windsor and Maidenhead which trains older students on how to give drug and alcohol health lessons to their younger peers, we can ensure that these statistics aren't stalwarts in the NHS system for years to come. Alcohol Concern's report is a welcome focus on an issue we cannot afford to ignore."