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Patients more likely to die in an NHS hospital on the weekend

Published on 28/11/2011

Patients admitted to hospital for emergency treatment at weekends are almost ten per cent more likely to die than those admitted on weekdays, according to a new report by Dr Foster.

The Dr Foster annual Hospital Guide revealed that the overall death rate for emergency admissions rose from 7.4 per cent on weekdays to 8.1 per cent at weekends, an increase of 9.5 per cent.


Patients are more likely to die in A&E at the weekend

In addition, eighteen trusts, 12 per cent of the total, had a higher than expected mortality rate at weekends. For a ‘handful’ of trusts, the mortality rate rose by as much as 20 per cent.

The report highlights the lack of consultants working on the weekends, leaving critically ill patients in the hands of less experienced doctors.

Overall there is a nine per cent discrepancy in mortality rates between trusts with the highest and lowest numbers of staff at weekends. Almost one third of all trusts had no consultants on site at night.

NHS medical director Professor Sir Bruce Keogh said: ‘I will be asking the NHS medical directors to look closely at weekend services to ensure patients admitted at weekends receive the same standards of care as those during the week.

‘This problem is not unique to the NHS – it confronts all health systems in the world – but I am confident the NHS is well placed to address these issues.’

Last year, a study by Imperial College London found more than 3,000 patients die every year because of short staffing in hospitals at weekends.

Medical emergencies are not covered by private medical insurance. If you require emergency care, you will be treated on the NHS in Accident and Emergency as usual.

However, after you are stabilised, private medical insurance will allow you to be transferred to a private ward or to a private hospital for your continued treatment. Compare health insurance policies online now to ensure you receive the best care available in the future.

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2011


Categories:  NHS and Hospitals
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