Wigan named one of UK’s dangerous drinking spots

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WIGAN has been named as one of the worst dangerous drinking spots in the country, according to shock public health statistics.

The borough is ranked in the top 20 for alcohol related hospital admissions sparking fresh concerns about the impact heavy boozing places on NHS services.

Fourteen of the top 20 worst hit areas are in the North of England, the figures reveal.

Wigan lies 17th in the table with a rate of 873 admissions per 100,000 of the population, behind Blackpool which tops the list with a rate of 1230. Salford, Burnley and Manchester also make the top 20.

The statistics refer to specific alcohol-related admissions or where boozing has been a factor in the primary cause for the hospital visit.

Earlier this year, the Evening Post revealed that Wigan’s rate for broad admissions, where alcohol has been noted as a primary or secondary factor, 2,970 admissions per 100,000 population, worse than the regional and national average.

Prof Kate Ardern, Wigan Council’s public health director, said tackling alcohol consumption was high on the agenda with a number of initiatives already in place.

She said: “Reducing alcohol-related harm is a key priority for Public Health and Wigan Council as demonstrated by the numerous initiatives and services designed to encourage residents to be healthy and drink responsibly.

“As part of Greater Manchester’s Alcohol Strategy there are a range of services that contribute to reducing alcohol related hospital admissions. For example, patients with high alcohol related re-admission rates are encouraged to seek help from our local drug and alcohol recovery partnership and a new Healthy Routes service supports people to cut down on their alcohol consumption.

“We will continue to work hard to raise awareness of the impact of excessive alcohol consumption and provide support to those who need it.”

Across the country there were more than one million alcohol-related hospital admissions in 2013/14, the figures reveal.

Labour MP for Birmingham Hodge Hill Liam Byrne, who uncovered the figures using Parliamentary Questions, said: “Booze abuse costs Britain a staggering £21 billion a year. These shocking figures expose just where our problem’s biggest.

“We’ve got to now make sure councils and health chiefs have proper plans in place to put treatment in reach of drinkers needing help.

“No one should suffer with alcohol addiction alone – especially when it’s parents with a problem.”