“There is nothing patriotic about drinking until you injure yourself” is the message from a local ambulance service, police force and our Trust to the football fans who have required medical attention over the last few days.
North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust saw an influx in admissions to the combined Emergency and Urgent Care service of patients with injuries sustained on Sunday, after celebrations of England’s victory against Croatia in the UEFA European Football Championship got out of hand for some.
The Trust saw some 569 people in Emergency and Urgent Care on Monday 14 June – about 250 people more than usual. Many of the injuries appeared to be alcohol related with head injuries, cuts requiring stitches, twisted ankles, damaged wrists and wounds from assaults being common.
Some patients even reported being too drunk on Sunday after the match to come into hospital to have their wounds tended to, making applying dressings and stitches more problematic for the clinical staff.
With England due to face Scotland on Friday, the Trust is appealing to all football fans to celebrate the next match with care.
“Let’s be clear, drinking until you injure yourself is not how you celebrate a victory for the national team.Deepak Dwarakanath, medical director
“Our emergency team need to be on hand for people who fall seriously ill or are injured after an accident. Frankly, no one trains to become a nurse or doctor to stitch people up with easily preventable injuries caused by drinking too much.
“We don’t want to spoil anyone’s fun, and we know the vast majority of people enjoyed the match without incident, but there is nothing patriotic about diverting our colleagues’ attention from their patients or wasting NHS resources.
“All of us, apart from our Scottish colleagues perhaps, hope England wins again on Friday night but regardless of the result, we hope we don’t see any more fans in A&E after overdoing it.”
Cleveland Police appeal
The safety of football fans is also the priority of Cleveland Police. They are supporting the Trust’s appeal for people to enjoy the Euros sensibly.
Chief inspector Mark Pitt said: “In recent weeks we have seen increased demand on our 999 system. COVID has made us all aware of the need to protect our NHS and the capabilities of our emergency services.
“We know many people are looking forward to Friday’s game and we want them to enjoy it safely. We don’t want our officers to be dealing with an increase in alcohol-related incidents. We’d ask fans to follow COVID guidance and ensure they can get home safely if they’re not watching the match at home.”
North East Ambulance Service joined the call to celebrate carefully, with a spokesperson adding: “We are experiencing high volumes of calls to 999. Please do your bit when enjoying the good weather and football and take care to avoid unnecessary accident or injury that might divert our resources away from someone in a life threatening emergency.”