AS revellers stock the office drinks cabinet and raise a glass to toast the season, Solihull Hospital’s Accident and Emergency (A&E) staff are bracing themselves to deal with the ugly face of Christmas.
Every year, Solihull’s hardworking doctors and nurses are faced with patients whose festive frivolity gets out of control – pushing A&E capacity to its limits at peak times.
The hospital is therefore urging everyone to think about the amount of alcohol they consume in a bid to reduce seasonal admissions.
Midland A&E units have the third highest level of admissions due to alcohol in the country – a figure which has doubled in a decade, according to NHS figures.
In 2006/07 the region’s hospitals admitted 20,650 – one in ten of all admissions in England. The annual cost of alcohol misuse to the NHS in England is around £2.7 billion per annum.
Dr Tony Bleetman, consultant in the Accident and Emergency department said: “The ‘Christmas spirit’ seems to prompt people to consume far greater amounts of alcohol than they would at any other time of the year.
“Consequently, it’s a very busy time of the year for us which puts strain on all areas of the Hospital.
“We want everyone to have a good time over the holidays, but at the same time drink responsibly. I’d encourage Solihull’s party goers to watch the amount they drink to help avoid any unnecessary trips to hospital.”
For further information on safe drinking this Christmas, visit http://units.nhs.uk.