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Calls for hospitals to provide a more comprehensive service 7 days a week

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A new report recommends that hospitals should provide the same services to acutely ill patients at weekends as they do during the week, in order to improve care to these patients.

The report “ Future Hospital: Caring for Medical Patients”, run by the Royal College of Physicians, makes 50 recommendations as to how hospital care within the NHS can be improved. The recommendations include seven day care, delivered when patients need it.

It has been reported that several studies have revealed higher death rates and poorer outcomes for patients who are admitted to hospital at the weekend, compared with those admitted during the week. The report suggests that consultants should be available on wards seven days a week, and that a full range of tests should always be available.

The report also suggests that care in hospitals should move to the patient, rather than the patient having to move around the hospital to receive the appropriate treatment. This would mean that patients would not have to move wards unless their care requires it.

The report also recommends that post-hospital care should be considered as soon as a patient is admitted, through the use of a clinical co-ordination centre. This central hub would ensure that information about patients is shared and that their care is planned appropriately.

Education and Training is also highlighted by the report and it says that Medical education and training will develop doctors with the knowledge and skills to manage the current and future demographic of patients.

This report has both short term and longer term recommendations for consideration.

By Ruth Eardley, clinical negligence team