YORK Hospital’s A&E normally sees about 15 people on a Saturday night, but last weekend more than double that number turned up. And it didn’t stop at midnight, indeed the department was inundated with 85 ambulances - the same number as seen at Leeds General Infirmary.
Staff were verbally abused, beer cans strewn outside, patients with real needs forced to wait and valuable NHS resources were wasted on a bunch of drunks with no thought for anyone but themselves.
This is an intolerable state of affairs. Some are blaming racegoers, others the hot weather, still more blame both. But regardless from where the trouble stemmed, York was a mess on Saturday and again it was due to people who are unable to hold their liquor and equally unable to hold their temper.
What must tourists think? York is portrayed as a beautiful place and during the daytime it most certainly is. But there is a dark side to the city; an after-dark side where too many streets are abandoned by families and claimed by drunks.
There are those who will tell you it happens every weekend and the hen/stag issue remains a hot topic, even though no one seems willing or able to tackle it. But what we saw three nights ago was genuinely worrying. A&E staff say it was “considerably worse” than usual and lessons have got to be learned because there is a minority who simply won’t learn how to drink responsibly.
Those who do deserve to be protected from them.