Public Health England (PHE) has announced its intention from 2014 to use a new key measure of alcohol-related hospital admissions, according to its latest report.

Following a public consultation on the methods used to estimate alcohol-related hospital admissions, the agency has developed a new indicator to more accurately reflect “the broader impact of alcohol on hospital services”. It will include primary diagnoses, plus mentions of alcohol-related external causes* in secondary diagnosis fields.

PHE plan to continue publishing alcohol-related admissions using the current method, which includes all primary and secondary diagnoses attributed to alcohol. The majority of respondents to the consultation supported retaining this measure. But PHE state the new measure will become the headline figure as “it offers a more complete picture of admissions resulting from alcohol consumption”.

According to the new measure, there were approximately 300,000 alcohol-related hospital admissions in England in 2011/12, compared with an estimated 1,220,300 alcohol-related hospital admissions in England by the existing measure. The historical trend would appear as illustrated below:

New primary diagnosis and external-cause measure of alcohol-related hospital admissions. England, 2002/03 to 2011/12



Visit the Local Alcohol Profiles for England website to read the full report.

* ‘External causes’ include alcohol-related accidents, injuries, assaults and self-harm