Interesting news from the NHS.
NHS Hospital doctors told to rethink weekend working
A shortage of senior doctors is said to be at the heart of the problem. There is mounting evidence of an association between higher death rates and weekend care. We can't prove that it is a causal link, but we cannot ignore it either.
Dr Mark Porter, the British Medical Association's consultants chairman, said the mounting evidence about the problem meant it was time for doctors to put themselves forward if needed. At the end of last year, the research company Dr Foster found mortality rates rose by 10% at weekends. Other studies have shown similar correlations, in particular the presence or absence of senior doctors - has been highlighted as a key factor.
NHS medical director Sir Bruce Keogh added: "Having more senior staff and consultants around at weekends is fundamental to the NHS shifting from a five-day-week to a seven-day-week.
The NHS has a radically different management system for it’s hospitals. Each ‘trust’ is responsible for the management of their system. This gives the illusion of ‘freedom of choice’ and more independent thinking rather than a top down mentality.
Those in command of our system (is there anyone?) should assess these finding carefully.
In the American system it is a matter of a department and medical staff assessing availability at the local level and bringing resources in alignment with need. Deaths on weekends should be addressed on specific cases not administratively. Peer to peer pressure would be the most efficient manner to bring a better result.
Can and will social media help?