The NHS is becoming the “national hangover service” as medics spend most of their time dealing with Britain’s binge drinking problem, a health boss has fumed.
Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, slammed “selfish” party-goers in a stark warning as the nation gears up for one of the most alcohol-fuelled nights of the year.
Figures from the health service show that admissions for alcohol-related incidents rocket on the first day of the new year.
Mr Stevens told the Daily Telegraph: “At a time of year when hospitals are always under pressure, caring for a spike in winter emergencies, it’s really selfish to get so blotto that you end up in an ambulance or A&E.
“More than a third of A&E attendances at peak times are caused by drunkenness.
“Casualty nurses and doctors are understandably frustrated about the NHS being used as a national hangover service.
“In our towns and cities this Christmas and new year, the paramedic called to a drunk partygoer passed out on the pavement is an ambulance crew obviously not then available for a genuine medical emergency.”