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Volume 893: debated on Monday 16 June 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the percentage of hospital beds occupied by persons whose illness was caused by alcohol.

In England and Wales approximately 1·5 per cent. of mental illness hospital beds are occupied by patients whose diagnosis on admission was either alcoholic psychosis or alcoholism. Such admissions account for 6 per cent. of all admissions to mental illness hospital beds. This information is not readily available for non-psychiatric hospitals, but it is known that approximately 0·1 per cent. of discharges and deaths from such hospitals are for cases of alcoholism, alcoholic psychosis or cirrhosis of the liver due to alcohol. There is good reason to think that the recorded percentage of patients, in which alcoholism was a factor affecting treatment, is understated due to the reluctance of doctors to mention alcoholism as a treatment condition.