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Summer season sees peak in alcohol-related incidents in London

Londoners are getting more drunk in August than in December’s party season, according to a new campaign launched by London Ambulance Service today (1 August).

Figures released by the UK’s busiest ambulance service show that over 6,650 people were treated by ambulance crews after drinking too much last August (2016) – compared to less than 6,000 in December (2016).

For the first time ever, the Service is running an alcohol campaign in August – Not An Ambulance – to encourage people to look after their friends if they have drunk too much. The campaign is being launched with a 90 second film which highlights the issue.

Medical Director, Dr Fenella Wrigley, said: “Drinking too much puts people in a vulnerable situation. If you cannot look after yourself you risk injury by falling or being less aware of traffic and other hazards. You also risk losing your phone and keys, leaving you stranded on the streets.

Summer alcohol campaign“Many people who have drunk too much end up in arguments and tussles with others – something which, when sober, they would never be involved in. We’re asking people to drink responsibly and if their friends do drink too much and need help, look after them so they don’t end up alone, vulnerable and in need of an ambulance.”

Dr Wrigley added: “A lot of the people our control room and ambulance crews respond to on Friday and Saturday nights don’t need an ambulance – they need a friend to take responsibility to get them home safely and look after them.

“While we’re treating patients who have had too much to drink – others, who are potentially seriously ill or injured could be waiting for help.

“Our message is simple – look after your friends, and make sure they get home safely, rather than ending their night in the back of an ambulance.”


Visit our #NotAnAmbulance page to find out more about the campaign and download the photos and videos to share on your social media channels.

Top tips for a safe night out:

  • Eat before drinking: Make sure you eat before you go out or start your night somewhere that serves meals or snacks. It’ll provide more energy, and lessen your hangover the next day.
  • Try pacing and spacing: Having a soft drink or some water between alcohol drinks slows the rate of your drinking.
  • Drink smaller drinks: A large glass of wine in most bars is equivalent to a third of a bottle!
  • Keep a check on how much you’re drinking: The ‘One You Drinks Tracker’ will help you keep track of how much you are drinking and spending.
  • Look after each other: Look after your friends and colleagues and make sure you know how you are getting home at the end of the night.
  • Plan your journey home: Don’t leave it to chance—think about how you’re going to get home, and who with, before you go out. Make arrangements before you start drinking, and make sure you don’t get left to walk home alone.

Notes to Editors

  • Last August (2016) we responded to 6,653 alcohol-related incidents compared to 5,938 in December 2016.
  • 25 per cent of all alcohol-related incidents a week occur between midnight – 6am on a Saturday and Sunday.
Top five boroughs for alcohol–related incidents
Borough Alcohol related incidents – total for 2016
Westminster 4,830
Camden 3,427
Lambeth 3,419
City & Hackney 3,272
Southwark 3,051
  • London Ambulance Service NHS Trust is the busiest emergency ambulance service in the UK that provides healthcare that is free to patients at the time they receive it.
  • We have over 4,500 staff, who work across a wide range of roles based in 70 ambulance stations.
  • We serve more than eight million people who live and work in the London area.
  • For more information, media enquiries or interview requests please contact the Communications Team on 020 7783 2286 or [email protected]
  • Follow us on Twitter using the hashtag #NotAnAmbulance and like us on Facebook for the latest news and information.