Alcohol-related hospital admissions are used as a way of understanding the impact of alcohol on the health of a population. Public Health England (PHE) uses two main measures for reporting alcohol-related hospital admissions:
- narrow measure: where an alcohol-related disease, injury or condition was the primary reason for a hospital admission or an alcohol-related external cause was recorded in a secondary diagnosis field; and
- more recently a broader measure has been developed which measures pressures from alcohol on health systems. For this indicator, the alcohol-attributable fractions are applied in order to estimate the number of admissions rather than the number of people.
PHE publishes this data and provides tailored data packs for each local authority to support their local decision making to reduce alcohol-related harm and help to reduce alcohol-related hospital admissions.
Nationally, there are a range of actions underway to tackle alcohol harm, and which aim to prevent alcohol-related hospital admissions. These include:
- a new national programme to incentivise screening and provide appropriate interventions to all in patients in National Health Service hospitals is being rolled out over the next two years;
- many Sustainability and Transformation Plan footprint areas have used PHE’s menu of preventative interventions to guide their decisions on local action to reduce alcohol harm and hospital admissions; and
- more widely, PHE’s One You campaign includes tools to help those people who want to reduce their consumption of alcohol, and the NHS Health Check continues to promote interventions to reduce harm and offer alcohol treatment for people who need help to recover from dependence.