Medics back plans for 3am curfew

Dave Rigby, sector manager for NW Ambulance Service

Dave Rigby, sector manager for NW Ambulance Service

Emergency doctors, nurses and ambulance drivers are being put under pressure due to the number of drunks being brought to hospital from Blackpool town centre, the hearing was told.

The Children’s Area at A&E is said to have to close at 10.30pm so youngsters are not exposed to bad behaviour, and treatment cubicles have walls instead of curtains to shield patients.

John Quinn, directorate manager of emergency and acute medicine at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, said: “They may come to us because they have vomited blood, or attacked someone else and then injured themselves.”

He said it meant beds were not available for other patients, and pressure was put on other parts of the NHS.

David Rigby, North West Ambulance Service sector manager, said ambulances were sent to treat drunks in the town centre at the expense of attending other calls.

He said: “Our vehicles are being drawn into the town centre to deal with alcohol- related incidents which, in my opinion, are avoidable.”

Dr Arif Rajpura, director of public health in Blackpool, described the EMRO as a “no brainer.”

He said: “It costs £600 for every person in Blackpool, dealing with the effects of alcohol.

“We know an EMRO won’t solve all the problems but it will go some way and we need to turn the tap off.”

Gary Doherty, chief executive of Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, admitted reducing licensing hours might not necessarily reduce the amount of alcohol people were drinking, but drinking over a “more concentrated period would be easier to manage.”

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