More older people being admitted to hospital for alcohol-related reasons amid concerns over lockdown boozing

Ellen Manning
·2 min read
Close-up of a woman hand pouring wine into a glass. Female waiter serving red wine in a winery.
The numbers of alcohol-related hospital admissions for older people is much higher than their younger counterparts, figures show. (Stock image: Getty)

There were more than three quarters of a million alcohol-related hospital admissions during the height of the COVID pandemic - with far more older people ending up in hospital than their younger counterparts - figures suggest.

Data from NHS Digital shows that there were 773,523 alcohol-related admissions between April and December last year - with three quarters of them (587,501) involving patients over the age of 50. 

For the same period, alcohol-related admissions involving patients between 60 and 80 stood at over 300,000, compared to fewer than 100,000 admissions for patients aged 20 to 40.

The figures come just six months after experts warned that the number of people drinking "high risk" amounts of alcohol had doubled since before lockdown.

A  senior female nursing sister demonstrates the the various equipment on the training ward whilst a male staff nurse shows the medical mannequin to another group of medical student nurses . They are all standing around the hospital beds . The whole scene is defocussed to be used as a background
The number of alcohol-related admissions is down overall. (Stock image: Getty)

The NHS Digital figures, which measure admissions rather than numbers of people, show that far more older people are ending up in hospital due to alcohol than younger drinkers.

They do show a drop in alcohol-related admissions on the same period the previous year, where there were more than a million admissions.

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Alcohol-related admissions can include alcohol-related illnesses, excessive consumption or injuries people have sustained while under the influence.

In September, the Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCP) warned in a report that an estimated 8.4 million people had drunk "high-risk" amounts of alcohol in June, compared to 4.8 million people four months earlier.

The college raised concerns that addiction services would be unable to treat the "huge numbers" of high-risk drinkers after being "starved of funding" for years.

Commenting on the latest figures, Dr Richard Piper, chief executive of the charity Alcohol Change UK, told MailOnline: "There is an urgent need to offer high-quality treatment and support for all those who are struggling with their drinking."

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