By Harriet Ernstsons Friday 26 October 2012 Updated: 26/10 09:47
MORE Redditch teenagers are being admitted to hospital after drinking too much than almost anywhere else in the country.
The town is the seventh worst in England for the number of under-18s taken into hospital with alcohol-related conditions, according to new Local Alcohol Profiles for England released this week.
They show 124.54 people per 100,000 of the population were admitted between 2008/09 and 2010/11, equating to a total of 66 patients, more than double the national average.
In neighbouring Bromsgrove the figure is just 69.80 per 100,000 and 55.08 in Wychavon.
The shocking statistics have prompted Redditch MP Karen Lumley to call on the Secretary of State for Health to take action and she has also contacted NHS Worcestershire to ask what is being done to address the problem.
“I think one of the problems with Redditch is that because it’s a new town, the profile of the town means there are a lot more 16 to 24-year-olds than in the rest of Worcestershire,” she added.
“The accessibility of alcohol is of great concern as it’s not easy to get from a supermarket so they must be getting it from local shops or people must be going to buy it for those who are underage.”
Steve Jorden, head of Worcestershire Regulatory Services, said they had a range of powers to use against shopkeepers caught selling alcohol to under-18s, including stripping them of their licence or prosecution, and undercover test purchases, where underage volunteers try and buy alcohol while being watched by officials, were carried out regularly.
But a spokesman for the Worcestershire Drug and Alcohol Action Team said they viewed the number as ‘relatively small’ while adding measures were being put in place including education and intervention in schools, targeted work with those already known to be drinking and raising awareness of safer drinking guidance.
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