RCSEd Comment on BMJ Research on 7 Day Services

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09 Sep 2015

Responding to research published in the British Medical Journal (6 September 2015) regarding increased weekend hospital mortality rates, Mr Ian Ritchie, President of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, commented:

"The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh has contended for some time that attention must be given to the way NHS services are designed in order to support 24/7 consultant-led delivery.

"Our membership across the UK endorsed this recently, with 76% of those surveyed agreeing that the NHS must offer round-the-clock services. However, the same proportion did not believe that this goal was achievable under the current service model. We therefore agree with Sir Bruce Keogh’s call for this matter to be given urgent attention.

"Patients deserve the highest standards of care regardless of when they are admitted and the College is firm in its belief that this can only be achieved if services and rotas are designed so that consultant led care is possible throughout the week. It is crucial that we recognise that this will require both an increase in the number of consultants and in the generalist capacity across the surgical workforce. It is also vital that these clinicians are able to access diagnostic services, such as scans and tests, at night and weekends so they are not delayed in their efforts to treat patients effectively.

"The NHS offers some of the best medical services in the world, so we look forward to working with NHS England to devise and implement practical measures that will constantly improve patient care.”


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