latest health care news

09.12.13

Weekend operations more dangerous – Dr Foster

Patients having an operation on a Friday are 24% more likely to die than those earlier in the week, new research suggests.

The Dr Foster annual hospital guide shows that, overall, patients have a 20% greater chance of dying at the weekend and are 3.9% more likely to be readmitted in an emergency.

Dr Foster director of research Roger Taylor said: “We have now looked at many different aspects of quality of care. Every indicator we look at shows that patients who come to hospitals on weekends get worse care and worse outcomes.

“We are pleased that the NHS has made addressing this issue a priority and there is evidence that these efforts are already starting to yield benefits for patients with shorter waits for operations at weekends and, in some cases, lower mortality rates.”

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “I want to see the NHS giving the same high-quality care seven days a week, and it is good to hear that things are improving. But it is completely unacceptable that some patients are still suffering simply because it is the weekend.

“We asked Professor Sir Bruce Keogh to look at how a seven-day NHS would work, and he is due to report back soon. I look forward to seeing his report and the NHS acting on it.”

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