Drunken celebrations over England’s World Cup football quarter-final win led to a record high number of people going to hospital with alcohol poisoning, according to NHS England.
There were 711 people who were worse for wear and showed up at hospital on July 7 – the day that England beat Sweden to reach the World Cup semi-final for the first time since Italia 90.
This compares to the average 386 attendances due to alcohol poisoning that medics might expect to be dealing with on a Saturday.
An NHS England spokesman said it would appear from the figures, based on data from hospital episode statistics, that a sharp spike in alcohol-related hospital attendances may be linked to the Three Lions win.
Fridays and Sundays are also worst days of the week for alcohol poisoning cases, with hospitals dealing with an average of 302 and 388 cases respectively.
The figures come as the health service gears up for what is usually one of the busiest times of the year for alcohol-related incidents as revellers prepare to celebrate the new year.
The festive period often sees a jump in the number of people needing emergency health care after excessive drinking – and the problem got worse last year, according to NHS England.
It said there were between 208 and 235 people who ended up in hospital with alcohol poisoning on Fridays in 2016 compared with 293 to 465 last year.
More than 10% of all attendances at emergency departments in the UK are related to drunkenness in some way, with Friday and Saturday nights sometimes having seven in 10 patients going to A&E because of drink, NHS England said.
Attendances due to alcohol poisoning are defined as any those which have an A&E diagnosis of “poisoning (including overdose) other, including alcohol”.
A spokesman said it may be assumed, given the date of England’s World Cup quarter-final victory over Sweden this summer, that the vast majority of attendances on July 7 were alcohol-related poisonings.
Dr Clifford Mann, NHS England clinical lead for accident & emergency, said: “As a doctor who works in emergency care, I’ve seen first-hand how drunk and sometimes aggressive people can put extra stress and pressure on paramedics, nurses and other hospital staff trying to do their job.
“As we prepare to see in the new year, I would urge everyone to have a great time but not to overdo it – the NHS is not the National Hangover Service.”
NHS England said the cost of helping people with avoidable alcohol-related illness to the NHS is £2.7 billion each year.
Patients admitted to hospital for excess drinking are monitored until the alcohol has left the system, taking up the time and energy of NHS doctors and nurses.
NHS England announced funding this month for so-called “drunk tanks”. It is a service run jointly with local authorities and voluntary groups which gives people who are drunk a place to sober up and stay safe, without the need for a hospital admission.
A study reviewing the services available to help people who are drunk, without going to hospital, is to report next year.