Hospital admissions for liver disease are on the rise again in Bedford

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
“The heartbreaking thing is that all of this suffering is totally avoidable"

There were more hospital admissions for liver disease in Bedford last year, new figures show.

The charity Alcohol Change said tens of thousands of people are affected by alcohol-related harm every year. It added preventative measures and support for those struggling with alcohol is urgently needed.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

It comes as figures from the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities show hospital admissions for liver disease across England remain at a record high, with about 85,665 recorded in the year to March 2023 – up 51% from 10 years prior.

In Bedford, there were some 335 hospital admissions for liver disease in 2022-23, up from 295 the year before. It was also an increase from 195 hospital admissions in 2012-13In Bedford, there were some 335 hospital admissions for liver disease in 2022-23, up from 295 the year before. It was also an increase from 195 hospital admissions in 2012-13
In Bedford, there were some 335 hospital admissions for liver disease in 2022-23, up from 295 the year before. It was also an increase from 195 hospital admissions in 2012-13

In Bedford, there were some 335 hospital admissions for liver disease in 2022-23, up from 295 the year before. It was also an increase from 195 hospital admissions in 2012-13. All figures are rounded to the nearest five.

Last year, Bedford Today revealed we were above the England average for liver disease admissions

Excessive alcohol consumption is one of the main drivers of liver disease, but it can also be caused by other factors, including obesity, diabetes and hepatitis.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Dr Richard Piper, chief executive of Alcohol Change UK, said: "Hospital admissions related to liver disease remain at an all-time high. We’re also seeing continuing problems right across our health system, from GPs to A&E, from liver wards to cancer wards to alcohol treatment services.

"The health harms caused by alcohol are affecting tens of thousands of people every year. The heartbreaking thing is that all of this suffering is totally avoidable."

Of the hospital admissions across England last year, 27,085 had a primary diagnosis of alcoholic liver disease. This included 55 in Bedford.

Dr Piper added: "There is an urgent need to offer high-quality treatment and support for all those who are struggling with their alcohol consumption."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He said preventative measures like minimum unit pricing and restrictions on alcohol marketing can stop people reaching the stage where they must attend hospital.

"We can have a society that keeps the fun but without the harm, and we need politicians to wake up to this," he added.

The OHID data also shows the mortality rate for liver disease has worsened.

Nationally, there were 31,221 deaths due to liver disease among under 75-year-olds across 2020-2022. It equated to a mortality rate of 21.1 per 100,000 people.

It is the highest rate since records began in 2001.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

In Bedford, 94 deaths were linked to liver disease across 2020-22. It meant the area had a mortality rate of 19.8 per 100,000.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: "The Government is taking firm action on the causes of liver disease by ensuring people are given clear and accurate advice about the potential risks of alcohol and guidelines alcohol consumption.

"In addition, through our 10-year alcohol and drug strategy, supported by £532 million, we are helping up to 54,500 more people receive drug and alcohol support, and we are also funding specialist alcohol care teams at one in four hospitals in England."

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.