Amid a spike in hospital admissions caused by alcohol consumption, Britain is considering rolling out so-called “drunk tanks’’ to keep intoxicated people out of emergency treatment and waiting rooms.
Authorities said the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, often marked by over-indulgence, can be a problem for Britain’s National Health Service.
“Supervised areas where revellers who have over-indulged can be checked and even sleep it off if necessary, rather than being taken to casualty, are already used in some areas such as Newcastle, Bristol, Manchester and Cardiff,’’ a statement said.
A decision is expected this year on whether to make the programme a routine fixture of Britain’s seasonal holiday period.
The taxpayer-funded health service said 12 to 15 per cent of attendances at emergency departments are alcohol-related, with that figure soaring as high as 70 per cent at peak times over the festive season.
“It’s frankly selfish when ambulance paramedics and accident and emergency nurses have to be diverted to looking after revellers,’’ NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens said.
“NHS doesn’t stand for ‘National Hangover Service,’’ Stevens reminded, adding that medical staff are also often confronted with aggressive behaviour. (dpa/NAN)