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Alcoholic Drinks: Misuse

Health written question – answered on 14th December 2009.

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Photo of James Brokenshire James Brokenshire Shadow Minister (Home Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many finished admission episodes to hospital there were in each strategic health authority area (a) in total and (b) per 100,000 of the population where an illness related to alcohol was a primary or secondary diagnosis in each of the last five years.

Photo of Gillian Merron Gillian Merron Minister of State (Public Health), Department of Health

The number and rate of finished admissions of patients with a primary or secondary alcohol-related diagnosis in each strategic health authority area can be found in the following table:

Number and rate of finished admissions of patients with an alcohol-related diagnosis
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09
Strategic health authority Number of a dmissions Rate o f admission per 100,000 population (EASR) Number of admissions Rate of admission per 100,000 population (EASR) Number of admissions Rate of admission per 100,000 population (EASR) Number of admissions Rate of admission per 100,000 population (EASR) Number of admissions Rate of admission per 100,000 population (EASR)
North East 43,919 1,535 50,579 1,749 55,510 1,898 60,755 2,046 67,955 2,254
North West 114,946 1,513 129,919 1,701 141,493 1,835 151,427 1,944 163,564 2,081
Yorkshire and The Humber 66,684 1,178 72,870 1,272 77,454 1,331 83,442 1,413 91,345 1,525
East Midlands 56,928 1,159 62,722 1,260 67,710 1,343 74,340 1,452 82,047 1,560
West Midlands 63,692 1,075 76,778 1,275 88,490 1,451 91,536 1,479 104,533 1,662
East of England 63,472 975 72,622 1,097 77,808 1,156 84,711 1,235 91,625 1,303
London 74,522 1,038 87,428 1,208 96,194 1,320 102,027 1,386 110,981 1,490
South East Coast 46,802 938 54,833 1,082 60,074 1,173 66,025 1,264 71,805 1,338
South Central 36,032 824 41,219 928 41,889 927 48,200 1,049 53,203 1,128
South West 70,278 1,145 77,755 1,250 83,415 1,315 88,393 1,365 98,509 1,492
Unknown /no fixed abode 6,908 n/a 8,787 n/a 9,082 n/a 12,400 n/a 9,656 n/a
England 644,185 1,144 735,512 1,290 799,120 1,384 863,257 1,473 945,223 1,583
n/a = Not applicable.


EASR - European Age-Standardised Rate.

Includes activity in English National Health Service Hospitals and English NHS commissioned activity in the independent sector.

Alcohol-specific condition

Alcohol-specific conditions are those defined as wholly attributed to alcohol, based on the methodology developed by the North West Public Health Observatory. They are:

Alcoholic cardiomyopathy (142.6)

Alcoholic gastritis (K29.2)

Alcoholic liver disease (K70)

Alcoholic myopathy (G72.1)

Alcoholic polyneuropathy (G62.1)

Alcohol-induced pseudo-Cushing's syndrome (E24.4)

Chronic pancreatitis (alcohol induced) (K86.0)

Degeneration of nervous system due to alcohol (G31.2)

Mental and behavioural disorders due to use of alcohol (F10)

Accidental poisoning by and exposure to alcohol (X45)

Ethanol poisoning (T51.0)

Methanol poisoning (T51.1)

Toxic effect of alcohol, unspecified (T51.9)

Number of episodes in which the patient had an alcohol-specific primary or secondary diagnosis These figures represent the number of episodes where an alcohol-specific diagnosis was recorded in any of the 20 (14 from 2002-03 to 2006-07 and seven prior to 2002-03) primary and secondary diagnosis fields in a Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) record. Each episode is only counted once in each count, even if an alcohol-specific diagnosis is recorded in more than one diagnosis field of the record.

Ungrossed data

Figures have not been adjusted for shortfalls in data (i.e. the data are ungrossed).

Finished admission episodes

A finished admission episode is the first period of inpatient care under one consultant within one healthcare provider. Finished admission episodes are counted against the year in which the admission episode finishes. It should be noted that admissions do not represent the number of inpatients, as a person may have more than one admission within the year.

Primary diagnosis

The primary diagnosis is the first of up to 20 (14 from 2002-03 to 2006-07 and seven prior to 2002-03) diagnosis fields in the HES data set and provides the main reason why the patient was admitted to hospital.

Secondary diagnosis

As well as the primary diagnosis, there are up to 19 (13 from 2002-03 to 2007-08 and six prior to 2002-03) secondary diagnosis fields in HES that show other diagnoses relevant to the episode of care.

Data quality

HES are compiled from data sent by more than 300 NHS trusts and primary care trusts (PCTs) in England. Data are also received from a number of independent sector organisations for activity commissioned by the English NHS. The NHS Information Centre for health and social care liaises closely with these organisations to encourage submission of complete and valid data and seeks to minimise inaccuracies and the effect of missing and invalid data via HES processes. While this brings about improvement over time, some shortcomings remain.

Assessing growth through time

HES figures are available from 1989-90 onwards. The quality and coverage of the data have improved over time. These improvements in information submitted by the NHS have been particularly marked in the earlier years and need to be borne in mind when analysing time series.

Some of the increase in figures for later years (particularly 2006-07 onwards) may be due to the improvement in the coverage of independent sector activity.

Changes in NHS practice also need to be borne in mind when analysing time series. For example, a number of procedures may now be undertaken in outpatient settings and may no longer be accounted for in the HES data. This may account for any reductions in activity over time.

Assignment of Episodes to Years

Years are assigned by the end of the first period of care in a patient's hospital stay.


Hospital Episode Statistics (HES), The NHS Information Centre for health and social care.

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