We need to urgently reduce needless admissions if we are to relieve the current pressure on London’s A&E departments. Getting too drunk is no excuse for wasting our health resources, especially when each A&E visit costs the taxpayer over £200. We should remove drunks from our A&Es in London by using specially built sobering facilities, such as Alcohol Recovery Centres and Booze Buses, as suggested in the recent report On the Wagon. Recovery centres provide a place for the intoxicated to sober-up, and booze buses help treat drunken patients on-the-go, both allowing these patients to avoid emergency departments altogether, if they have no other medical complications. With 7% of all emergency callouts being alcohol related this practical measure could lift the massive burden on A&Es and save over £40 million every year. It’s common sense.
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