Ambulances blame booze in 11,000 calls

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AMBULANCES attended more than 11,000 alcohol-related incidents in the Lothians the past three years, new figures have revealed.

Statistics obtained by the Scottish Tories through freedom of information show a total of 27,281 cases across Scotland last year where alcohol was noted as a cause of the incident. In Lothian, there were 4055 such cases, down slightly from the figure of 4194 the previous year, but still significantly higher than the 3364 cases recorded in 2009/10,

Tory health spokesman Jackson Carlaw said: “This poses huge challenges not only from a health point of view, but also a law and order one. Whether it is someone who has consumed too much, meaning their stomach has to be pumped, or a violent clash ignited by a drinking binge, these are all avoidable incidents.

“We need get a handle on alcohol-related disorder. And given paramedics only record alcohol as a factor if they have time and if it is an overwhelming factor, the true picture is surely far graver than this.

“Hopefully when alcohol minimum pricing is brought in we can see a change in these kinds of statistics.”