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‘Patients admitted to hospital deserve the same treatment at weekends as they would expect on a weekday’

For immediate release (28/11/11)

The annual hospital report published by Dr Foster has revealed that mortality for patients admitted to hospital at the weekends is 10 per cent higher than for those admitted on weekdays.

The reduction in the level of consultant cover at the weekend is likely to be a significant contributor to this higher mortality. The Society for Acute Medicine (SAM) strongly believes that a consultant should be present on the acute medical unit for at least 12 hours per day, 7 days per week. The attached policy statement has been developed to encourage our members to work with their employers to provide this.

Dr Chris Roseveare, President of The Society for Acute Medicine, says: ‘This latest report just adds to the mounting evidence that patients admitted over the weekend have higher mortality rates than those admitted on a weekday. 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’

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.’

ENDS

Notes for editors:

  • Acute medicine (also known as acute internal medicine) is the speciality which deals with the immediate and early treatment of adult patients with a variety of medical conditions who present in hospital as emergencies.
  • The Society for Acute Medicine is the national representative body for the speciality of acute medicine and represents over a thousand members.
  • The President (Dr Chris Roseveare) of the Society for Acute Medicine is available for interview.
  • Dr Roseveare is an acute medical consultant with extensive experience of working on acute medical units.

Contact:

Sarah Hunter-Argyle
Communications and Marketing Executive
Society for Acute Medicine
07502 439 570

The Society for Acute Medicine
Administration Office
Society for Acute Medicine
9 Queen Street
Edinburgh
EH2 1JQ
www.acutemedicine.org.uk

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