NEAS joined forces with Balance, the North East Alcohol Office, over the summer to launch a hard-hitting media campaign highlighting the unnecessary burden that alcohol misuse by others places on our staff and services.
A 2012 study by Balance found that ambulance call outs in the North East, plus the subsequent accident and emergency attendances, cost the region more than £9 million in a one-year period.
The summer campaign, which launched on 19 August, featured real life stories that convey the difficulties staff face when tackling alcohol-related call outs and highlighting the huge financial burden alcohol misuse by others places on our service.
The launch received both regional and national media coverage.
Yvonne Ormston, NEAS Chief Executive, said: “Our crews don’t just deal with drunk weekend revellers; they see the effects of alcohol at all times of the day and all times of the week, spread across our region and from patients of all ages and backgrounds.
“For our staff, this is more than a job. But alcohol related calls take up far too much of our time and are often an abuse of our service, taking our resources away from patients who need us most.
“We are pleased to be working with Balance to highlight the issues we face.”
The campaign aims to build public support for a range of measures to tackle the problem of alcohol misuse. These include making alcohol less affordable, less available and less widely promoted.
Colin Shevills, Director of Balance, said: “Excessive consumption of alcohol is a long standing issue in the North East. Cheap alcohol that is too available and too heavily promoted is putting huge pressure on our frontline services. We hope this will encourage a more responsible approach to drinking across the region.”