SAM Response to NHS Services, Seven Days a Week Forum

Sunday 15th of December

For immediate release

The Society for Acute Medicine (SAM) welcomes the recognition of the importance of a consultant-led seven day service in hospitals as outlined in the NHS Services, Seven Day a Week Forum initial findings summary.

SAM has always been a firm advocate of providing a seven-day service in acute medical units (AMUs) since the publication of the Acute Care Toolkit 4 “Delivering a 12-hour, 7-day consultant presence on the acute medical unit” in October 2012 at our Manchester conference.

Dr Alistair Douglas, SAM President said: “Following publication of our own Quality Standards in June 2012, AMUs across the UK have already been providing seven-day consultant led care for patients admitted to hospital in an emergency. Both our quality standards and the ones set-out in the NHS England report emphasise the importance of the multi-disciplinary team and access to key support services (especially radiology) which are vital in providing safe and effective care for patients in hospital at weekends and over public holidays. However providing seven-day services across the hospital and community will require a major culture change. Delivering this will be a huge challenge, which should not be underestimated. Staff working in acute areas are already under enormous pressure which is reflected in recent difficulties with recruitment in some parts of the UK. Continued investment will be needed to ensure sustainable long-term working patterns and attract the best staff to deliver high quality care at the weekends without sacrificing weekday services or continuity of patient care”.


Notes to the editors:

  • Acute medicine (also known as acute internal medicine) is the specialty 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 around a thousand members.
  • Dr Alistair Douglas is a consultant in acute medicine and nephrology at Ninewells Hospital and Medical School in Dundee and is available for interview.
  • The report will be available on the NHS England website on Sunday 15th December.


Claire Charras
Communications and Marketing Executive
Society for Acute Medicine
07 985 494 965

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