Alcohol related hospital activity

As part of the Local Alcohol Profiles for England, the Knowledge and Intelligence Team (North West) calculates the number of men and women admitted to hospital each year for alcohol-specific (conditions where alcohol is causally implicated in all cases of the condition) and alcohol-related conditions (alcohol-specific conditions plus those where alcohol is causally implicated in some but not all cases), yielding a period prevalence estimate of the number of persons admitted to hospital at least once during the course of a financial year. The analysis is carried out using data from the Health and Social Care Information Centre – Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) and Office for National Statistics (ONS) – Mid Year Population Estimates. There can be up to 20 diagnosis codes for a single episode, and one individual can have multiple episodes in a given year. As such, rules are used to avoid double counting of people for statistics which describe the number of people admitted to hospital for alcohol related conditions.

There are two definitions of alcohol-related hospital admissions used in the health profiles;

It should be noted that hospital admission data can be coded differently in different parts of the country. Moreover, in some cases, details of the patient’s residence are insufficient to allocate the patient to a particular area and in other cases the patient has no fixed abode. These cases are included in the England total but not in the smaller area (e.g. CCG level). Finally, some indicators are person based and others are admission based. For example, the number of people admitted to hospital due to alcohol-related conditions per 100,000 European Standard Population is a person-specific measure whilst the number of admission episodes for alcohol-related conditions per 100,000 European Standard Population is an admission-specific measure.

In NHS Coastal West Sussex CCG in 2014/15, 1,505 people were admitted at least once to hospital for an alcohol-specific condition, at a rate of 314.3 people per 100,000 European Standard Population (ESP 2013) (95% CI: 298.3 – 330.8 people). This was similar to NHS Crawley CCG (282.4 people admitted per 100,000 ESP 2013, 95% CI: 249.7 – 318.1 people) for the same period but higher than NHS Horsham and Mid Sussex CCG (229.8 people admitted per 100,000 ESP 2013, 95% CI: 210.2 – 250.8 people) and overall in the South East region (279.6 people admitted per 100,000, 95% CI: 276.1 – 283.2 people). However, the NHS Coastal West Sussex CCG rate of people admitted for alcohol-specific conditions was significantly lower than the rate for England in the same period (364.4 people admitted per 100,000 ESP 2013, 95% CI: 362.8 – 366.1 people). The chart below shows the annual trend data for West Sussex CCGs between 2010/11 and 2014/15 for persons admitted to hospital for alcohol-specific conditions. The chart indicates that although there is an upward trend in NHS Coastal West Sussex CCG in the first three years of the period, followed by a downward trend more recently, differences may not be significant across individual years. However, there was a significant decline in the rate of alcohol-specific hospital admissions in NHS Coastal West Sussex CCG between 2013/14 (354.6 people admitted per 100,000 ESP 2013, 95% CI: 337.7 – 372.1 people) and the current rate of 314.3 people (95% CI: 298.3 – 330.8) per 100,000 ESP 2013.

Source: Office for National Statistics

Source: Office for National Statistics

The number of people admitted to hospital for alcohol-specific conditions differs significantly among men and women, with men consistently having a higher rate of people admitted to hospital in all West Sussex CCGs, the South East region and in England in 2014/15 (see the chart below). In 2014/15, 970 men were admitted to hospital for an alcohol-specific condition in NHS Coastal West Sussex CCG, at a rate of 421.8 people admitted per 100,000 ESP 2013 (95% CI: 395.3 – 449.5 people admitted). This is significantly higher than the female rate of admissions for NHS Coastal West Sussex CCG in the same year (217.5 people admitted per 100,000 ESP 2013, 95% CI: 199.1 – 237.2 people, n= 530 people admitted).

Source: Office for National Statistics

Source: Office for National Statistics

Admission Episodes

In 2014/15, there were 3,001 admission episodes for alcohol-related conditions (narrow definition) in NHS Coastal West Sussex CCG. This represented 592.4 admissions per 100,000 ESP 2013 (95% CI: 571 – 614.5 admissions per 100,000 ESP 2013). Similarly to the number of people admitted for alcohol-specific conditions, the NHS Coastal West Sussex CCG admission episodes rate was similar to NHS Crawley CCG (593.5 admissions per 100,000 ESP 2013, 95% CI: 544.5 – 645.6 admissions), higher than NHS Horsham and Mid Sussex CCG (468.1 admissions per 100,000 ESP 2013, 95% CI: 440 – 497.5 admissions) and lower than the England rate overall (640.8 admissions per 100,000 ESP 2013, 638.6 – 643 admissions). The chart below shows the trend in alcohol related (narrow definition) admissions per 100,000 ESP 2013 for years 2010/11 to 2014/15. As can be seen from the chart, although the admissions rate has increased in NHS Coastal West Sussex CCG, the overlapping confidence intervals suggest that there may be no significant difference across years.

Source: Office for National Statistics

Source: Office for National Statistics

Hospital admissions episodes for alcohol related conditions (narrow definition) are also broken down by age. Click here to see alcohol-related hospital activity for those aged under 40, 40-64 years and 65+ years.
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