A recent report funded by the NIHR School for Public Health Research (SPHR) and published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health argues that stricter local alcohol licensing is linked to fewer hospital admissions.
Drink related hospital admissions fell by an average of 0.6% every year in those local authorities with a medium score twice as large as the fall in the average admission rate between 2009 and 2015 in those local authorities without an active alcohol policy.
In the local authorities classified as high, drink related hospital admissions fell by 2% every year, or around 8 fewer drink related admissions per 100,000 of the population in 2015, compared with what would have been expected in the absence of any active policy. The researchers emphasise that this is an observational study, so no firm conclusions can be drawn about cause and effect. And they point out that the findings could also be the result of other additional alcohol policies, such as late night levies, or alcohol screening, which they did not investigate.
But they conclude: “These analyses contribute to the available evidence on the effectiveness of population level alcohol licensing policies specifically for England, and are the first to demonstrate that the intensity with which selected alcohol licensing policies are implemented and scrutinised is related to measurable reductions in alcohol attributable hospital admissions.”
This information has been taken from a BMJ press release.