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Sunday 26th May 2019

Hospitals should move to seven day working

17th October 2012

Roger Taylor, the director of research at Dr Foster Intelligence, has said hospitals should put in place a seven-day work week.


His comments came after data revealed increased mortality at hospitals on the weekend.

Mr Taylor said "other industries have adopted effective weekend operating, so these mortality figures are a worrying sign of the NHS’ failure to modernise its working practices".

Dr Foster Intelligence found people admitted to hospital with aneurysms had a 10% higher likelihood of dying if they were admitted on Saturday or Sunday as an emergency.

They also found patients with atherosclerosis had an 8% higher danger of dying, while pancreatic cancer patients had 9% higher risk of dying and lung cancer patients had 6% increased risk of death in comparison to weekdays.

The data analysis was carried out on official hospital information from 2010/11 for all conditions with over 250 deaths. 

In addition to higher weekend death rates, Dr Foster's analysis of hospital data found patients who required a MRI scan had 8% less likelihood of getting one if they were admitted on Saturday or Sunday.

The data also showed patients who require gastroscopies were a third less likely to be given one if they were admitted on the weekend.

Andrew Lansley, the former health secretary, called for the health service to impose a seven day working week earlier in 2012 following a study which showed patients admitted on a Sunday had 16% more likelihood of dying within 30 days of admission than patients who were admitted on a Wednesday. 


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