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RCSEd Welcomes Government Plans for Seven Day Service

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16 Dec 2013


The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges has led the argument for moving to a seven-day service for urgent cases and supports, NHS Medical Director, Sir Bruce Keogh’s report recommendations to the NHS England Board. These were developed in alignment with the Academy's own standards and with input from Academy Chair, Professor Terence Stephenson and Dr Chris Roseveare, Clinical Project Lead from the Academy's seven day services project. The Academy looks forward to continuing to be an active member of the NHS England's Forum on Seven Day Services as the scope of the work broadens to take a whole system view and drive change in the way healthcare is delivered at weekends.

Professor Terence Stephenson, Chairman of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges said:

"It is unacceptable that for a patient admitted as an emergency, the chances of dying may be 11% higher on a Saturday and 16% higher on a Sunday. The Academy recognises that moving to successful seven-day care will not be easy to achieve, but has led the argument for this principle. We know that junior doctors feel clinically exposed at weekends and that hospital chief executives are rightly worried about weekend clinical cover. The Academy has contributed to the Forum on Seven Day Services and will continue to work with NHS England. The findings from the evaluation of the impact of high intensity specialist led acute care (HiSLAC) that the Academy and University of Birmingham are leading on will be an important next step."

Commenting on this, President of The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, Mr Ian Ritchie said:

Ian Ritchie"The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd) strongly supports the principle that the highest quality, consultant-led patient care must be available seven-days-a-week.

"We recognise, however, that seven-day working across the NHS will not be easy to achieve and it is disappointing that Sir Bruce Keogh’s report has not adequately considered the implications for resources and training, something that RCSEd has highlighted as a concern previously.

"If we are to move to establish consultant-led emergency medicine and surgery it would transform patient care and we are fully supportive of this, however, with current funding limitations, it is difficult to see how increasing consultant and other staffing levels can be expanded. Resource allocation for seven-day working must be considered holistically together with the training and support needs for all health care staff.

"There is a fundamental need for clinicians and managers to embrace different ways of working which will result in better care for patients."

For further information visit the AoMRC website.

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