Thousands taken to hospital for alcohol abuse in Doncaster at cost of £17m each year to taxpayer

Alcohol abuse in Doncaster which leads to thousands of hospital admissions every year costs the taxpayer more than £17 million per annum.

Thursday, 18th November 2021, 11:24 am
Doncaster Royal Infirmary.
Doncaster Royal Infirmary.

A report presented to councillors highlighting problem drinking in the borough shows that health bosses estimate a cost of £17.2 million to the local economy.

The latest available data on alcohol admissions show over 8,000 presented at hospital during 2018/2019 – this was up nearly a quarter from the previous five years.

In a new Community Safety Strategy, the council has said they’ve made strides against drug and alcohol abuse.

DMBC bosses say they’ve secured additional resources from Public Health England and the local Public Health Allocation to further develop inpatient detoxification, criminal justice treatment services, family/ parental interventions and early interventions for alcohol.

The report goes on to say that DMBC has ‘increased public awareness and knowledge’ about the harm caused by alcohol and drugs as well as identifying and supporting people who want to change their alcohol and/or drug using behaviour.

Another claim is the council has ‘reduced the availability of illegal drugs’ and the inappropriate use of alcohol and other legal substances.

Rachael Long, crime and community safety theme manager at DMBC, said: “As alcohol and drug misuse are often symptoms of complex underlying factors, Doncaster partner agencies support individuals to overcome stigma and embark on their own recovery journeys, to live substance misuse free lives.

“Substance and alcohol misuse impacts on all of the key priorities within the Community Safety Strategy.

“It is fair to say that reductions in peoples misuse of substances would significantly impact not only on crime and anti-social behaviour but would also lead to healthier relationships, more productive futures, improved individual wellbeing and better outcomes for children, families and communities.

“There is also an impact on economic cost to Doncaster from lost productivity and cost to health, social care and the criminal justice system.

“Doncaster has higher than national average rates of alcohol related hospital admissions, which makes significant demands on the hospital and creates a major cost pressure on the local health system. Costs to the local health economy is estimated £17.2m each year.”