There has been much debate about the reasons for high weekend mortality rates in hospitals, as evidence of the problem has accumulated. In some cases, it is due to lack of care in the hospital. In others, it is due to lack of care outside the hospital. But, in almost all cases, it is down to the fact that our health services do not work as a 24/7 operation.
There is no really good reason for this. Fire services do not operate with slimmed down crews on Saturdays and Sundays. Why should hospitals?
Roger Taylor, Co-Founder and Director of Research at Dr Foster, provides his view through on weekend working in the NHS through the Guardian Healthcare Network. (Read more)