Study shows major omission in evidence of ‘weekend effect’ on mortality rates in hospitals
According to new research in the BMJ Quality & Safety journal, previous studies showing an increased risk of mortality following admission to hospital at weekends have failed to take account of the higher severity of patients’ conditions.
The research, carried out by a team from the Manchester Centre for Health Economics at The University of Manchester, directly contradicts established wisdom that mortality rates increase at the weekend—a core argument for the Government’s push for a seven day NHS.
The key factor identified by the research team was that a higher proportion of patients admitted to hospital at the weekend have arrived by ambulance. This is an important marker of increased illness severity. Once severity is taken into account, there is no increased risk of mortality following admission during the weekend except a very small increase on Sunday daytime.
The authors re-analysed the same data on emergency admission used by the previous studies that have been repeatedly quoted by Government as showing a ‘weekend effect‘. They examined over 3 million records for patients admitted to hospitals across England via A&E in the 2013/14 financial year.
The proportions of patients brought in by ambulance were substantially higher on Saturdays (61%) and Sundays (60%) compared with 57% on weekdays. Patients arriving by ambulance had much more severe problems, with a mortality rate of 5.5% compared to just 0.8% for patients who did not arrive by ambulance. This important marker of severity, which differs between weekdays and weekends, has not been taken into account in previous studies… Read More>>
Source: Medical Xpress