Children at risk in Northampton due to binge drinking culture
Liberal Democrats in Northampton have expressed their concern at the number of children admitted to accident and emergency departments in hospitals in the area suffering from alcohol related problems.
A&E departments in hospitals in Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Rutland Strategic Health Authority dealt with 20 cases of children below the age of 14 who had consumed dangerous levels of alcohol in 2005-6, the period for which the latest figures are available.
The figures came to light in a Parliamentary Question asked by Liberal Democrat Shadow Secretary of State for Health, Norman Lamb MP.
Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Northampton North, Andrew Simpson said, "These are very worrying figures for Northamptonshire and a frightening sign of how out of control the binge drinking culture in this country has become.
"Problem drinking starts at an early age, yet the Government is failing to focus its resources on the young who are seriously at risk.
"As well as causing chaos in A&Es on Friday nights and anti-social behaviour, irresponsible drinking results in serious long-term health problems.
"A fresh look at tackling the growing problem of excessive drinking is long overdue. A good start would be cracking down on those shops that sell alcohol to underage children. We also need to consider putting a halt to supermarkets selling drinks at rock bottom prices - with no thought as to the knock on effects."
Notes to editors:
The link to the figures for each strategic health authority is: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200708/cmhansrd/cm071128/text/71128w0025.htm#column_542W