Paramedics are #payingtheprice of alcohol misuse. @BalanceNE and @NEAmbulance are highlighting the burden.

Report reveals burden alcohol places on North East ambulance staff.

A new report has revealed that almost half of North East paramedics have been assaulted by drunk patients or members of the public while on duty.

The report, published today (Wednesday 19th August) by Balance, the North East Alcohol Office, also found that 2 in 5 paramedics surveyed have been subjected to alcohol-fuelled sexual assaults or harassment during their work.

Balance partnered with the North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) to carry out a survey of more than 350 paramedics.

The results also revealed:

  • 3 in 5 paramedics say they shouldn’t have to deal with the consequences of alcohol misuse.
  • More than 9 in 10 NEAS paramedics feel that dealing with alcohol-related callouts places an unnecessary burden on their time and resources.
  • Two-thirds of paramedics said alcohol-related incidences accounted for at least half of their workload during weekend evenings.
  • Two-thirds of paramedics stated that they felt at risk of physical assault when working in the night time economy.
  • 9 in 10 have been threatened by an intoxicated person at least once and almost half six or more times.
  • Two-thirds of paramedics stated that in excess of 75% of callouts for assault were alcohol-related.

Alcohol misuse in the North East puts a huge financial strain on our frontline services, with an estimated cost to the region’s NHS of £242 million in 2013/14.

Off the back of this report Balance is calling for a range of targeted, evidence-based measures – such as increasing the price of the cheapest, strongest alcohol products – to make alcohol less affordable, available and less widely promoted.

Find out more about Balance and paramedic report at http://www.facebook.com/balance.northeast and on Twitter @BalanceNE. Tweet us with #payingtheprice

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