Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Southampton hospitals urge World Cup alcohol caution

England fans watching Big Screen in Manchester
Image caption Fans are being urged to "lay off the booze" by Southampton's hospitals

Staff in Southampton's hospitals are urging England fans to "lay off the booze" as the World Cup tournament gets under way this week.

Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust is preparing for a rise in alcohol-related injuries and abuse.

Dr John Heyworth said hospitals see an increase in domestic abuse, assaults, trips, falls down stairs and people crashing their cars.

The trust wants fans to help themselves and "hard-pressed hospitals".

Dr Heyworth, an emergency department consultant at Southampton General Hospital and president of the College of Emergency Medicine, said: "Alcohol-related concerns are focused in a very small time frame around big international matches.

"A lot of drinking, a lot of passion, a lot of excitement, hopefully a lot of euphoria and sometimes a bit of disappointment - a mix that can very easily lead to either violence or accidents, and people need to be aware of that."

He added: "People can have a great time and be very enthusiastic and passionate about their support for England, which we all want to be, but it does need just a bit of thought to make sure it doesn't all go wrong."

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