Weekend hospital admission associated with higher mortality risk

Weekend admission to hospital continues to be associated with a higher risk of mortality, data from Dr Foster suggest.

Professor Keogh: changes in working practices need to be clinician-led
Professor Keogh: changes in working practices need to be clinician-led

Patients admitted on a Friday or Saturday are 5% more likely to have to wait two days for an operation, a delay associated with a raised mortality risk of around 20%.

A report by Dr Foster found that the chances of survival are better in hospitals that have more senior doctors on site. However, some hospitals with A&E departments have very few senior doctors in hospital at weekends or overnight, the report found.

Dr Foster’s analysis suggests that delivering safe care 24/7 does not require more resources. ‘Local A&E departments need to identify the services they can provide safely and link with others to provide the services they can’t,’ the report said.

Earlier this year NHS medical director Professor Bruce Keogh spoke exclusively to GPonline.com about the value of seven-day working.

He said changes in working practices needed to be clinician-led and that he ‘could not conceive’ that seven-day working would not be happening in wide parts of the NHS within five years.

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