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Law change may have fuelled jump in A&E admissions

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Alcohol-related A&E admissions may have trebled in inner city areas since the law changed to allow 24 hour drinking, research suggests.

A study, carried out at St Thomas’ Hospital’s in London, compared alcohol-related overnight visits before and after the 2005 licensinglaw change.

The law was intended to curb binge drinking by removing incentives to drink quickly in the run-up to closing time.

But the study found there were 79 alcohol-related visits to the hospital’s A&E department in March 2005 compared to 250 in March 2006.

Study author Dr Alastair Newton, consultant in emergency medicine at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, saidit was only a snapshot of the bigger picture in England and more research was needed.

Emergency Medicine Journal (2007) 24: 532-534

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