A new report setting out the need for changes in the care given to emergency patients has been published by NHS London and London Health Programmes.
The report draws on evidence from clinicians and is published as official statistics show patients admitted at the weekend have a significantly increased risk of dying compared to those admitted on a weekday.
More than half a million patients are admitted to a London hospital as an emergency every year.
Dr Andy Mitchell, Medical Director at NHS London, said: “We want patients in London to have access to the same, high-quality and reliable services 24 hours a day, seven days a week – after all, patients cannot always choose when they will need NHS care in an emergency.
“Continuing to give patients poorer care at the weekend is not an option. Every avoidable death is one too many. This is not a London-specific problem but we are leading the way to find a solution. The improvements we have achieved with stroke and cardiac care should be extended to all patients, no matter what their underlying condition.”
Professor Matt Thompson, Professor of vascular surgery at St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust and Clinical Director for the review, said: “We believe there are enough consultants working within the NHS in London, but current working practices leave some hospitals with insufficient consultant cover, particularly at weekends.
“One answer may be to bring consultants together in the right places – like centralised services in London for heart attacks and stroke which is already saving hundreds of lives every year in London. However, it will be up to clinicians and commissioning groups to decide in discussion with patient groups how services should be improved.”
The report can be downloaded here: