Alcohol: Impact on Accident and Emergency Services — Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:15 pm on 21st January 2015.

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Photo of Lord Brooke of Alverthorpe Lord Brooke of Alverthorpe Labour 3:15 pm, 21st January 2015

My Lords, I am grateful for the pleasant words from the Minister, but I omitted to pick up on just what action the Government intend to take. Does he share the concern of his new CEO for the NHS, Sir Simon Stevens, that more than 1 million people are now presenting at A&E each year with alcohol problems? Not only that, but they are in the main accompanied by their friends and often family, who swell the numbers and are equally intoxicated. They are creating great difficulties for nurses, doctors and other A&E patients. Many of those people do not come from their home; they come from drinking establishments from which some of them have been ejected. Many of those establishments have personnel there looking after security for the protection of the interests of the drinks industry. If the drinks industry can pay for those people to protect its interests, why cannot it be required to pay to protect the interests of nurses, doctors and other people in A&E who are intimidated by people who are drunk?