3 2 mins 7 yrs

I think this is quite an interesting topic and wonder what you think.

The head of an A&E doctors’ group wants police to take a “zero tolerance” approach to antisocial behaviour after drinking, to stop drunks clogging up emergency wards. Cliff Mann, the president of the College of Emergency Medicine, is urging the authorities to be tougher on drunk and disorderly people, to make them realise there are consequences to their actions. If more people knew that if they got drunk they were going to be arrested, they wouldn’t drink in the first place and then end up in A&E,” Dr Mann told the Observer.

I share Dr Mann’s abhorrence of drunks taking up valuable A&E space but there are a number of problems with what he suggests;

1. Drunks pay for the NHS via their taxes so why should they be denied that which they help fund?

2. Where is the cash coming from to pay for the extra Police vigilance and resources?

3. How drunk does one have to be to fall into the arrestable category?

I have some experience of this problem. When my father was dying, I had to take him to A&E on several occasions. I saw plenty of drunks, including two Polish people fighting each other in the corridor. Absolutely unacceptable, of course, but I am not sure calling the Police is the answer. I fear our society is now so debased that anything goes as people no longer feel any sense of shame or indeed self responsibility.



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3 thoughts on “DRUNK AND DISORDERLY….

  1. There should be some small payment at point of service ( Matt I think has said this )

    For overdrinking cases, the first time should be the normal ” co pay ” charge, the second should be higher. It should increase steadily every time.

    This is a problem in the US too. Maybe not to the same extent, but its the same type of problem – drunks and druggies effectively ruin Emergency Room sevices for legitimate users.

    In the US, there is another aspect where the uninsured use Emergency Rooms as primary health care as they have no other medical service available to them.

  2. I am surprised David is opposing the call for ‘zero tolerance’ of drunken criminal behaviour. Of course there should be tough and enforced policing and criminal sanctions against people who behave violently and aggressively while drunk. By all means let people drink as they choose but let them also accept the full responsibility of the actions they commit while drunk including arrest prosecution and criminal convictions.

  3. Dr Mann is not saying they should not be treated, just that the law should be enforced. A&E staff are frequently subjected to abuse and even assault from injured drunks and their pals. Zero tolerance should be the rule.

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