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Homeless turn to A&E for help


Renata Watson

The problem of homeless people sleeping on Britain’s streets may have been transferred to hospitals, according to a new study. Although the government claims that the number of people sleeping rough has fallen by three-quarters since 1988, figures obtained from 173 hospital trusts under the Freedom of Information Act reveal mounting pressure on the NHS from the homeless. In England, a homeless person is admitted to hospital for problems related to drugs or alcohol every three hours. A total of 13,872 people with ‘no fixed abode’ were admitted to hospital over the last five years for drug or alcohol misuse. Total drug and alcohol related admissions of homeless people have risen by 117 per cent since 2004.

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