People admitted to NHS hospitals for emergency treatment during the weekend are almost 10% more likely to die than those taken in during the week, according to a new report.
Research by the Dr Foster Intelligence comparative healthcare website found that one in eight NHS trusts had higher than expected death rates on Saturdays and Sundays, the Daily Telegraph reported. Many hospitals have vastly fewer numbers of senior consultants on site outside normal office hours, and rely on junior doctors, and nurses, to treat critically ill patients, according to the paper.
Areas to think about:
- Why are fewer staff available at weekends?
- How can trusts ensure the right number and mix of professionals are available out of hours, considering both cost limitations and European Working Time Directive restrictions?
- Leaving supply-side issues, can anything be done to better manage the demand on services out of hours?