More in hospital with alcohol illnesses

A quarter of people who drink alcohol exceed the recommended healthy limit every week according to research done in Liverpool.

The team at John Moores University found that in the North West of England 100,000 people were taken to hospital with alcohol related illnesses between 2008 and 2009.

Across the UK hospital admissions due to alcohol have risen by 825 a day in five years to almost a million.

The findings came as experts recommended a UK-wide price limit on drink should be brought in to try to curb alcohol misuse.

The Alcohol Commission, which was set up by the Labour Party in Scotland, has recommended a ban on selling drink at below the "floor price" of the cost of production, plus the cost of duty and VAT.

Professor Mark Bellis, who helped lead the study in Liverpool, said:

"The price we pay for turning a blind eye to the real extent of alcohol abuse across England is reflected in the new Local Alcohol Profiles for England and it is a price that is paid especially by the poorest communities.

"The English death toll from alcohol now exceeds fifteen-and-a-half thousand people every year.

"It is time to recognise that we are not a population of responsible drinkers with just a handful of irresponsible individuals ruining it for others.

"Over one in four drinkers exceed weekly limits according to national surveys and alcohol sales figures suggest the number is much higher."

Dr Ruth Hussey, regional director of public health for the North West, said:

"We are once again reminded of the terrible burden that the abuse of alcohol causes to residents of the North West through its affects of ill health and crime.

"The North West alone saw over 100,000 individuals admitted into hospital for alcohol related reasons in 2008/09.

"Parts of the North West have already pioneered new ways to educate the public about alcohol and improve access to care for those requiring support. Alcohol costs people their jobs, their health and their lives."