Wigan’s booze list shame

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WIGAN is the 10th in a list of deaths caused by alcohol in England and Wales.

Figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that there were 26 deaths in Wigan Borough in 2010 that were alcohol-related.

However, while the news isn’t good, Wigan was still behind Bootle, St Helens, Birkenhead, Liverpool, Manchester and Preston on the list as the North West made up the majority of the top 10.

Wigan’s Director of Public Health, Dr Kate Ardern says that while it is a problem in the borough, it is being addressed.

She said: “We have long been aware of the problems alcohol causes in Wigan, but we have seen a dramatic improvement since implementing a new approach in terms of how we treat people who have problems with alcohol.

“At Wigan Infirmary we have targeted frequent attenders with alcohol issues over the past year through specially trained nursing staff in a bid to get them help. This alcohol pathway has proved highly successful and we have seen a 50 per cent drop in attendances at A&E over the past year.

“Together with the police, the council, the 5 Boroughs NHS Trust, WWL and NHS ALW we are now stemming the numbers of people who are dying from alcohol related issues. We do have a problem but we are addressing it.”

Nationally, nine of the top 10 boroughs with the highest number of alcohol related deaths were in the North, prompting the charity, Alcohol Concern to say that deprivation was to blame for the North-South divide.

In all there were 8,790 victims, 126 up on 2009. The figures from the Office for National Statistics include deaths directly due to booze such as alcohol poisoning, liver disease and cirrhosis. They exclude diseases linked to drink such as cancer of the liver, mouth and oesophagus.