HC Deb 20 May 2002 vol 386 cc142-4W
Dr. Evan Harris

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of attendances at accident and emergency departments were alcohol-related in each of the last five years. [54991]

Ms Blears

The data are not available centrally. The Health Education Authority carried out a survey in 1998, which was published in the journal "Alcohol and Alcoholism", which indicated that one in six people attending accident and emergency departments for treatment had alcohol-related injuries or problems, rising to eight out of I0 at peak times.

Dr. Evan Harris

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much central Government funding was allocated to preventative work in relation to alcohol misuse in each of the last five years, [54992]

Ms Blears

Most of the work on the prevention of alcohol misuse is undertaken at local level by national health service health promotion units and primary health care professionals such as general practitioners and practice nurses. It is not possible to separately identify the funds devoted to this alcohol misuse prevention work.

Details of the central funding allocated by the Department to health promotion work on alcohol misuse during each of the last five years are as follows:

1997–98 868,000
1998–99 582,000
1999–2000 500,000
2000–01 500,000
200–02 400,000

The figures for 1997–98 and 1998–99 also include an element towards the running costs of the health education authority. This element does not appear in the figures for subsequent years.

The Department for Education and Skills provides substance misuse education in schools. Substance misuse education covers alcohol, tobacco and drugs. The Department for Education and Skills has allocated an additional £29.5 million to substance misuse education over the last three years.

Dr. Evan Harris

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent estimate he has made of the percentage of teenagers who(a) drink alcohol once a week and (b) drink more than the recommended benchmarks for alcohol in (i) each NHS region and (ii) England. [54993]

Ms Blears

The information available is given in the tables. The sample sizes for the 16 to 19 age group are too small to provide reliable results at NHS regional level.

Table 1: Percentage of pupils aged 11 to 15 usually drinking at least once a week, England 2000
Government office region Percentage Base
North-east 22 425
North-west/Merseyside 18 997
Yorkshire and Humberside 19 578
East midlands 17 686
West midlands 16 928
Eastern 22 817
London 11 564
South-east 19 1,318
South-west 18 721
England 18 7,034


Department of Health school survey, published as "Smoking, drinking and drug use among young people in England in 2000".

Table 2: Drinking behaviour among adults aged 16 to 19, by gender, England, 2000
Usually drink at least once a week Drank more than 3–4 units on at least one day last week Base
Men 64 48 316
Women 51 34 312


Current Department of Health advice is that regular consumption of between three and four units a day for men (between two and three for women) will not accrue significant health risk. Regular drinking above these levels is not recommended because of the progressive health risk this carries.


Taken from the Office for National Statistics General Household Survey, published as "Living in Britain—Results from the 2000 General Household Survey". The percentages have been calculated using weighted data—the bases given are unweighted.

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