MORE than 14,000 people were admitted to hospital in East Lancashire with an alcohol-related condition last year, new figures reveal.

Data from Public Health England revealed a total of 14,280 needed hospital treatment during 2017/18, an increase from 9,163 in 2008/09.

The number of hospital admissions has risen by 56 per cent across East Lancashire compared to 10 years ago.

Blackburn with Darwen was the borough with the most alcohol-related admissions with 4,017 in 2017/18, followed by Burnley (2,698), Hyndburn (2,310), Pendle (2,237), Rossendale (1,719) and Ribble Valley (1,299).

All East Lancashire boroughs have recorded a rise in alcohol-related admissions.

But the figures show a decrease in the number of alcohol-related deaths in East Lancashire.

In 2008/09, there were 280 deaths, compared to 270 in 2017/18.

Eytan Alexander, CEO of addiction treatment specialists UKAT, called on councils to invest more in their public health grant into drug and alcohol treatment services.

He said: “The numbers speak for themselves - thousands of people across the North West hospitalised because of alcohol.

“It’s time to admit that there is a problem here.”

But Blackburn with Darwen borough public health director Dominic Harrison blamed central government cuts to public health grants.

He said: “We invest money into our drug and alcohol services but cuts to public health grants to local authorities every year since 2015 have hampered our efforts.

“Health Secretary Matt Hancock has talked about prevention being one of his priorities, so it mystifies me how prevention can be a priority when it was announced in December that £85m would be cut from public health grants.

“Prevention is key to reducing hospital admissions.” A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: “Robust government action has led to a fall in alcohol consumption in recent years – but we remain committed to tackling alcohol-related harms through taxation, pricing and protecting the innocent victims of addiction such as children of alcoholics.

“Prevention is at the heart of our bold plans to secure the future of the NHS, as outlined in the NHS Long Term Plan."