- Alcohol specific mortality is increasing in the District.
- Alcohol related admission is increasing in the District.
- Alcohol related ill health in Wakefield is heavily linked with deprivation with those in the deprived areas exhibiting higher rates.
- Men in Wakefield have higher rates of alcohol related ill health than women, although the greater rising trend is amongst women.
Drinking alcohol is something that the majority of adults do. Using the Health Survey for England (2011-2014) it was estimated that approximately 80% of adults in Wakefield drink alcohol to some extent, with approximately 1 in 4 adults drinking at a level that is harmful to their health (over 14 units per week).
The effects of alcohol consumption are many, including impacts on physical health (cardio-vascular conditions, excess weight, liver disease etc) and mental health (alcohol dependence, depression, aggression etc). Those with higher levels of alcohol consumption often experience admissions to hospital either for a specific alcohol condition such as alcoholic liver disease or an alcohol related condition, such as heart disease or an alcohol related incident such as an unintentional or deliberate injury.
In England there are over 10 million people drinking at levels which increase their risk of health harm. Of these, 1.9 million are drinking at high-risk levels. In 2015/16 there were an estimated 1.1 million hospital admissions related to alcohol consumption, with just under two thirds of these being male patients.
In England, alcohol is now the leading risk factor for ill-health, early mortality and disability among those aged 15 to 49 and the fifth leading risk factor for ill-health across all age groups. The public health burden of alcohol is wide ranging, relating to health, social or economic harms. The estimated economic cost of alcohol in England is around £21 billion, this includes costs associated with alcohol-related health disorders, crime and anti-social behaviour, loss of productivity in the workplace and problems for those who misuse alcohol and their families, including domestic violence.
The below demonstrates the current position in Wakefield in relation to our Yorkshire and Humber neighbours across several of the key alcohol indicators. Wakefield is currently significantly worse than the England average for many alcohol measures (those indicators coloured red). Areas of specific concern include the rising trend in alcohol specific mortality and admissions to hospital for alcohol related conditions, particularly for females who are seeing a rising trend compared to the leveling out of these measures for males.
You can click on the “trends” option below to explore the trends in the various measures.
As with smokers, those who are more deprived and those in routine and manual occupations are more likely to drink heavily. A recent emerging trend is an increase in those from more wealthy backgrounds beginning to drink harmfully.
The highest rates of alcohol consumption are in the least deprived areas. Those from more deprived areas report lower levels of average consumption than those from more affluent populations; but they experience greater alcohol-related harm. People from the most deprived areas of Wakefield are more likely to die or suffer from alcohol-related disease: around a third (35%) of all hospital admissions related to alcohol are for people who live in the three most deprived deciles (tenths) of Wakefield.
The bar chart below shows the differences in admission rates for alcohol attributable conditions. This can be used to explore geographical differences by looking at the rates in different wards, and to look at the differences between males and females.
The bar chart dashboard can also be used to demonstrate that alcohol related admissions show a high correlation with areas of deprivation. This can be seen by selecting “Deciles” on the options to the right of the dashboard.
Source: NHS Digital HES data
For those who are worried they might be drinking too much, free, confidential support and treatment is available at Inspiring Recovery. The service operates from two sites– Wakefield city centre and Castleford, as well as having satellite sites across the district.
Telephone: 0300 123 1912 or email: Wakefield-IR@turning-point.co.uk for advice and information or alternatively visit their website at: http://wellbeing.turning-point.co.uk/wakefield/contact-us/
A summary sheet about Inspiring Recovery is available to download Inspiring Recovery summary sheet
Alcohol Liaison Service
The Alcohol Liaison Service (ALS) is based at Pinderfields General Hospital, Wakefield, supporting patients presenting to hospital who may have alcohol-related problems.
In 2017/18, there were 627 referrals to the ALS for people who were resident in Wakefield, 43.1% of whom were from the most deprived areas of Wakefield. Most individuals who were referred to the service were aged between 45-54, followed by the 35-44 age group. For further information visit http://spectrumhealth.org.uk/substance-misuse/alcohol-liaison-service/
A summary sheet about the Alcohol Liaison Service is available to download Alcohol Liaison Service summary sheet
Wakefield Young People’s Drug & Alcohol Service
This service is a drug and alcohol service for young people aged 18 and under which provides free, friendly and confidential support for young people who are worried about their drug and/or alcohol use.
Telephone: 01924 831114.
A summary sheet about Wakefield Young People’s Drug & Alcohol Service is available to download Young People’s Drug & Alcohol Service summary sheet
Further information and resources are available below;
Public Health England, 2016. The Public Health Challenges of Alcohol and the Effectiveness and Cost-Effectiveness of Alcohol Control Policies: An evidence review here
National Statistics. Statistics on Alcohol. England, 2017. here