Home Health Patients admitted to hospital at weekend much more likely to die

Patients admitted to hospital at weekend much more likely to die

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A British police officer throws the ball as an ambulance attempts to pass during the Shrovetide football match in Ashbourne, central England, February 20, 2007. The game dates back to the 17th Century. The aim of the teams, the Up'ards and the Down'ards, is to score by tapping the ball three times on stone goal plinths three miles apart on the banks of the River Henmore. REUTERS/Darren Staples (BRITAIN) - RTR1MM9G

Patients who are admitted to hospital on a Saturday or Sunday are much more likely to die than those taken in on a week day, according to alarming new statistics.
New figures released by the National Health Service (NHS) show that patients who end up in hospital during the weekend are 15 per cent more likely to die than those who go in during the week.
And at some trusts, the odds of dying at the weekend are even more shocking. For some health trusts, those patients taken to hospital on a weekend have a 50 per cent chance of dying within the month which follows.
Data released for 137 hospital trusts across the UK reveal that the so-called weekend effect is real within the NHS.
The statistics also reveal that patients who are discharged from hospital on Sundays have a whopping 40 per cent higher chance of having to be readmitted to hospital within a month compared to those patients who are discharged during the week.
These latest numbers follow worries that junior doctors are sending patients home too soon before they are ready to be able to take care of themselves, or before a strategy has been put in place for them to receive care at home.
Not only that, but patients who go into a hospital setting on a Saturday or Sunday remain in hospital for twice as long as their counterparts. They remain in hospital for two days rather than one day for those brought in on another day of the week.
This data collection, the first of its kind, was ordered by the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt who said he had real concerns that patients were being put at risk by potentially substandard care at weekends.
Consultants are less likely to be work on Saturdays and Sundays, meaning there is a lack of readily available expertise. There are also fewer staff in hospitals to carry out vital tests such as X-rays and blood tests. Without these, a proper diagnosis can prove difficult or impossible.
This latest data comes just a day after statistics showed that three quarters of maternity units had no consultants at hand overnight and 50 per cent had none at weekends.
The new statistics on weekend deaths looked at patient records at 137 hospital trusts from April 2015 to March 2016.