Drunk people need ambulance assistance 20 times a day

The Argus: Paramedics attend a drunk person in West Street Paramedics attend a drunk person in West Street

Emergency ambulances are sent out to help drunk people in Sussex in every one hour-and-20 minute spell, shocking new figures show.

Over a 12-month period, paramedics were called out more than 20 times a day to deal with drunks in the county.

This included 48 people who were so drunk on Christmas Day in 2012 that they required an emergency ambulance.

And 52 people in Sussex needed emergency ambulances because of alcohol on New Year’s Eve 2013.

In calls to South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) between March 31, 2012, and April 1, 2013, the latest period available, there were 7,463 callouts where the primary problem was alcohol intoxication.

A Freedom of Information request by The Argus revealed this included 2,457 callouts in Brighton and Hove and 5,006 callouts in East and West Sussex.

Now alcohol charities have deemed the news – which included 33 callouts in Sussex on Christmas Day – “a terrible waste of time and money”.

Eric Appleby, chief executive of Alcohol Concern, said: “What a terrible waste of time and money which could be spent on other areas of healthcare.

“Sadly this is a picture that’s replicated up and down the country. We have to face up to our problem relationship with alcohol and deal with it.

“That means taking action on alcohol sold at pocket money prices, its constant availability and getting tough on alcohol advertising.”

A SECAmb spokesman said: “SECAmb handles in excess of 700,000 calls a year. Sadly calls where alcohol is a factor do make up a percentage of them.”

She added: “SECAmb is dedicated to helping all patients and treats people who are alcohol-dependent every day.

“We are able to help direct these patients to the specialist help they require.

“We would like to urge people who are out drinking socially to be aware of the impact drinking to excess has on the ambulance service.

“We want people to enjoy themselves but also to know their limits, look out for others they are with and to be sensible.”

Comments (4)

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4:46pm Wed 5 Feb 14

melee says...

Yes it is a terrible waste of time and money but the solution is very simple: send drunks a hefty bill for the ambulance, I can't believe this isn't done already if the problem is really on this scale.
Yes it is a terrible waste of time and money but the solution is very simple: send drunks a hefty bill for the ambulance, I can't believe this isn't done already if the problem is really on this scale. melee

5:14pm Wed 5 Feb 14

KarenT says...

We need a giant brush and pan and either just brush them into the gutter or dump at the nearest tip! :D If you want to abuse alcohol then do it in the privacy of your own home, drink all you like. WHY do people have to do it in public places and make their problems a "public problem" to be solved by public funds?
We need a giant brush and pan and either just brush them into the gutter or dump at the nearest tip! :D If you want to abuse alcohol then do it in the privacy of your own home, drink all you like. WHY do people have to do it in public places and make their problems a "public problem" to be solved by public funds? KarenT

10:19pm Wed 5 Feb 14

Vox populi 2 says...

And this is precisely one of the reasons why the NHS today is buckling at the knees. Private hospitals need to be built, and anyone requiring treatment for something self inflicted, like drunkardness, should be made to pay for their treatment at a private hospital: and that goes too for adults suffering injury sustained from sporting activities and the whole host of other things that, at present, are being treated on the NHS to the detriment of the unfortunate desrving sick. As a motorist the goverment rightly compels me to pay insurance in the event of, and to ensure the survival of the NHS for the deserving and the unfortunate sick, it will sooner or later have to stop burying its head the sand and devise something that will ensure the NHS will always be around for the benefit of the sick and deserving.
And this is precisely one of the reasons why the NHS today is buckling at the knees. Private hospitals need to be built, and anyone requiring treatment for something self inflicted, like drunkardness, should be made to pay for their treatment at a private hospital: and that goes too for adults suffering injury sustained from sporting activities and the whole host of other things that, at present, are being treated on the NHS to the detriment of the unfortunate desrving sick. As a motorist the goverment rightly compels me to pay insurance in the event of, and to ensure the survival of the NHS for the deserving and the unfortunate sick, it will sooner or later have to stop burying its head the sand and devise something that will ensure the NHS will always be around for the benefit of the sick and deserving. Vox populi 2

9:53am Sun 9 Feb 14

hey mongo says...

People been getting drunk for thousand of years long before ambulances were invented... Drunks along with smokers pay a lot more tax than others so they should be entitled to help when they need it...unlike the millions of aslyum seekers immigrants etc who have paid nothing yet fill up the hospitals up and down the country...make immigrants pay for healthcare not stop people going out enjoying themselves you green party tree huggin morons
People been getting drunk for thousand of years long before ambulances were invented... Drunks along with smokers pay a lot more tax than others so they should be entitled to help when they need it...unlike the millions of aslyum seekers immigrants etc who have paid nothing yet fill up the hospitals up and down the country...make immigrants pay for healthcare not stop people going out enjoying themselves you green party tree huggin morons hey mongo

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