In November the Society launched its policy statement on seven day working for consultants in acute medicine.
Acute illness is a seven day problem, with patients just as likely to suffer over the weekend as during the week and this has led SAM to endorse seven day working in all acute medical units. To provide seven day working there must be a consultant on the AMU for 12 hours a day, seven days a week.
The evidence that patients are more likely to die if they are admitted over the weekend has been rising with the recent Dr Foster report finding that there is on average a 10 per cent rise in mortality for those admitted to A&E over the weekend.
Dr Chris Roseveare, President of the Society for Acute Medicine, says: ‘The Society believes that patients deserve the same high quality consultant-led care irrespective of the day of the week on which they are admitted to hospital’
The policy statement has been developed in order to encourage our members to work with their employers to provide this. In some trusts seven day working could be achieved by adapting current rotas and job plans.
Dr Chris Roseveare: ‘This problem must be addressed now; patients’ lives are being put at risk. Investment will be needed to provide adequate numbers of consultants in some hospitals, but additional costs should be offset by greater efficiency, improved quality of care and shorter hospital stay for patients.’
To read the policy statement in full please click here.