BARNSLEY’S rate of hospital admissions due to alcohol continue to rise and are now the worst in the region, new data shows.

The figures, released by Public Health England, show there were 2,180 hospital admission episodes due to alcohol-specific conditions in the borough - a rate of 895 per 100,000 - last year.

This is the second-highest rate in Yorkshire and the Humber, and an increase of two-thirds over the rate from 2009/10.

Among under 18s, Barnsley has the second-highest rate of hospital admissions for alcohol-specific conditions - where the diagnosis is wholly attributable to alcohol - after Kingston-upon-Hull, with 85 cases, a rate of 55.9 per 100,000.

Researchers note the data may cover multiple admissions for a single person.

Cabinet spokesperson for public health Coun Jim Andrews said: “Research has shown that levels of drinking have increased in 2020 due to the well-documented stresses caused by the pandemic.

“If people do feel like they have a problem with alcohol, or are becoming alcohol dependent, help is available from Barnsley Recovery Steps, our commissioned support service.”