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York Hospital and City of York Council urge sensible drinking

After a challenging weekend in York Hospital’s Emergency Department due to alcohol-related disturbances earlier this month York Hospital and City of York Council are urging people to drink sensibly as the Christmas holidays approach.

On the first weekend of December York Hospital’s Emergency Department was exceptionally busy with people who had been brought to hospital in an intoxicated state.  There were incidents of appalling behaviour, staff were spat at, sworn at and one member of staff was punched and mauled.

During the course of the Saturday night a significant part of the workload for York Hospital’s Emergency Department was compromised by very drunk disruptive people.  The disruption took place in amongst other unwell and needy patients, which included elderly and frail as well as children.

Dr Alastair Turnbull, Medical Director at York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said: “It is both disrupting and upsetting for other patients and staff when people come to the department in this state and behave in this way. The hospital is here to help everyone but we expect and ask patients to behave responsibly and considerately. It is in the interests of all that alcohol is consumed sensibly, but sadly the consequences of harmful drinking are significant for individuals, their families and the NHS. The Trust will not condone or permit abusive and disruptive behaviour.” 

Dr Paul Edmondson-Jones, Director of Health and Wellbeing at City of York Council said: “The reports of the incidents that took place in York Hospital’s Emergency Department earlier this month have shocked me.  Everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy Christmas and often this does include drinking alcohol, but I would urge people to take some personal responsibility for staying safe and protecting the NHS services we all pay for.”

Since April this year City of York Council has a responsibility for the city’s public health and would like to remind people how to enjoy alcohol responsibly:

  • Pace yourself, don’t drink more than you’re used to
  • Alternate alcoholic drinks with soft drinks
  • Know your limits: men should not regularly drink more than 3-4 units a day and women should not regularly drink more than 2-3. (A unit is a standard glass of wine or a pint of lager).
  • If you’ve had a heavy drinking session, avoid alcohol for the next 48 hours
  • Watch drink sizes. A ‘large’ 250ml glass of wine is a third of a bottle and can contain up to 3 units of alcohol. A standard glass of spirits is 1 unit but many bars now serve larger measures.
  • Think keys, money,  phone: plans to get home
  • Even a small amount of alcohol can affect your driving. Don’t drink if you intend to drive: choose a designated driver at the start of the night
  • Alcohol may take at least 12 hours to leave your system, so don’t plan to drive after a night’s drinking

23 December 2013

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