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Volume 694: debated on Thursday 26 July 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What is their response to the report in the Emergency Medical Journal of a significant rise in the number of attendances at the accident and emergency department of St Thomas's Hospital related to alcohol between March 2005 and March 2006; and whether they will commission similar research on other accident and emergency departments. [HL4978]

The St Thomas’s study, which relates to alcohol-related attendances in one hospital, highlights a local problem that clearly needs further investigation.

But studies in other parts of the country have found a different picture: a Cardiff University study of 33 accident and emergency (A&E) departments in England and Wales found that, since the introduction of the Licensing Act, the number of A&E attendances linked to violence has gone down; and a study by Liverpool John Moores University has found a similar trend.

The Home Office-led national evaluation of the impact of the Licensing Act 2003 on levels of crime and disorder will provide a detailed assessment of the impact of the Act on violent crime and criminal damage, and will include a one-off review of data from five specific A&E departments. Findings are planned to be published at the end of 2007.