The NHS ‘Weekend effect’ blamed for 11,000 extra deaths in hospital each year
Up to 11,000 more people die each year after being admitted to hospital over the weekend compared with other days of the week, a major study suggests.
The disclosure comes days before a deadline for doctors’ unions to agree changes to consultants’ contracts, in an attempt to increase levels of weekend cover, or see them imposed.
NHS England medical director Sir Bruce Keogh called for action as research by him and others linked the “weekend effect” to 11,000 excess deaths.
It is not clear exactly how many of these could have been avoided.
But the study in the British Medical Journal said the findings raised “challenging questions” about weekends.