UK considers 'drunk tanks' to ease strain on health services



Estimated read time: Less than a minute

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

LONDON (AP) — British health officials are considering turning to so-called drunk tanks to ease the strain on emergency rooms and ambulance services caused by heavy drinkers.

NHS England said Friday that researchers are looking at whether Alcohol Intoxication Management Services, commonly known as drunk tanks, may be rolled out on a national level. They are already used in some cities.

NHS England chief Simon Stevens says heavy drinking is diverting resources needed by sick people.

"NHS doesn't stand for 'National Hangover Service,'" he said.

He says it is wrong for health workers to devote precious time to people who "just need somewhere to safely sleep it off."

Officials estimate that 12 percent to 15 percent of emergency room visits are due to acute alcohol intoxication, with figures much higher on weekend nights.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Associated Press

    SIGN UP FOR THE KSL.COM NEWSLETTER

    Catch up on the top news and features from KSL.com, sent weekly.
    By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to KSL.com's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

    KSL Weather Forecast