Drinker treated 18 times at A&E in one year

A handful of people were responsible for dozens of drug and alcohol-related admissions to Kettering General Hospital last year, according to figures released

A handful of people were responsible for dozens of drug and alcohol-related admissions to Kettering General Hospital last year, according to figures released

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A handful of people were responsible for dozens of drug and alcohol-related admissions to Kettering General Hospital last year.

One person was admitted to the Rothwell Road hospital 18 times with alcohol-related conditions in 2012-13, while eight individuals between them made up more than 100 admissions in that period.

Meanwhile, there were two people who were each admitted to the hospital on nine occasions with conditions related to drugs.

Between them, a total of six people were responsible for 47 drug-related admissions.

There was a total of 185 people who were admitted on more than one occasion during the year with alcohol-related conditions, with 133 people being admitted more than once for treatment following drug use.

The figures include both those who were suffering directly from the effects of drugs or alcohol and those who might have suffered an injury as a result of intoxication.

Many of those who were admitted on more than one occasion were taken to the accident and emergency department, even when it was not the most appropriate department for them.

The hospital has made a number of appeals in the past year in a bid to encourage only those with a life-threatening emergency to contact its A&E department.

In response to the figures, Kettering General Hospital says it is starting to meet those who are admitted most often to attempt to direct them to more appropriate services.

Hospital chief operating officer Jon Scott said: “The issue of frequent attendance in A&E is a very important one and the different health services in the county are currently working together to develop an action plan to address it.

“Frequent attendance to A&E with drug and alcohol issues often relate to excessive use and addiction. In these cases our duty is to treat the patient’s condition, keep them safe, and encourage them to access appropriate support services.

“We have begun meeting our most frequent attenders to offer them more information and support.

“Clearly an A&E department is not the right place for people with addiction issues to get the right kind of support and counselling that they require so we are encouraging them to attend more appropriate services.”

Sandra Eden, service manager at the Northamptonshire branch of health and social care charity CRI, which launched an alcohol and drug support group last year, said: “The latest figures coming from Kettering Hospital demonstrate that there is a real need to support people in managing alcohol and alcohol dependence.

“We recognise the need to educate the public about the numerous services and support centres available to people with substance and alcohol dependence. At CRI Northamptonshire we offer person-centred recovery pathways to support the individual and family members in the management of their dependence.

“These interventions include medical, psycho-social and access to mutual aid to support the person achieve wellbeing and recovery.”

The figures were released by Kettering General Hospital in response to a Freedom of Information request.