The Health Minister Andrew Lansley was forced to defend his controversial “hands off” approach to public health yesterday as new figures revealed hospital admissions for alcohol-related diseases have doubled in the past seven years.
Nearly 1.2 million people in England needed in-patient hospital treatment for alcohol related cancers, liver diseases and poisoning in 2010-11 – a 9 per cent rise on the previous year. There have already been over 7,000 hospital admissions for young people under the age of 18 in 2011, according to figures released yesterday.
Mr Lansley was accused of pandering to big business by the opposition health team while ignoring advice from alcohol experts.
Diane Abbott, the shadow Public Health minister, said: “It is clear that this Government is rapidly pushing us towards a binge-drinking crisis.”