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Booze buses and treatment tents

The special ambulances that respond to alcohol related calls in London over the festive period

  • By: Rebecca Ghani
  • Published: 18 December 2012
  • DOI: 10.1136/sbmj.e7987
  • Cite this as: Student BMJ 2012;20:e7987

Booze bus. Hmm, is that a bus full of booze? Like a booze cruise, but in a bus. Perhaps the bus is filled with every alcoholic beverage you could imagine; a bar, some music, perhaps a dance floor?

Oh, but hang on, we’re talking about a different sort of booze bus. The “booze bus” is an alternative response vehicle run by the London Ambulance Service, which, far from doling out alcohol, deals with the aftermath of excessive drinking in the City and the west end of London. It is an ambulance that works in the evenings, collecting drunken partygoers who have called 999 and allowing them to sober up at specially designed treatment centres without having to visit an emergency department.

The booze buses have been operating over the festive season on London’s streets since 2006, when it was recognised that there was a marked increase in alcohol related 999

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