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News - 25 November 2010
Central London 'drunk tank' opens
A special unit has opened in the West End to tackle the growing scourge of binge drinking. People who have drunk to excess are being taken there instead of A&E to ease pressure on hospitals.
The scheme, launched in time to for the Christmas party season and set up jointly by Westminster council and the London Ambulance Service, is aimed at the completely inebriated who need a place to sober up. Drink-related calls represent six per cent of the workload for the London Ambulance Service and the figure is twice as high in the borough of Westminster.
Last year, there were 60,686 alcohol-related call-outs in London and it is estimated 40 per cent of those taken to hospital could be dealt with elsewhere. Cases for the Alcohol Recovery Centre, which opened last weekend, are picked by one of three '“booze buses' - ambulances designed for drunks.
The unit does not accept walk-in patients or those who have suffered an injury through alcohol. It wiol be open on Fridays and Saturdays until after the new year. but may also run mid-week at Christmas and around New Year's Eve.
Read the rest of this item from the London Evening Standard here
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