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Seven-day services 'crucial' for patients

Seven-day services 'crucial' for patients

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NHS England’s investigation into 'seven-day’ services has reached a ‘crucial point’, it has been revealed. 

Set up earlier this year, the investigation is gathering evidence into how the NHS could offer better, safer care every day. 

Finance and workforce issues are being examined, as a key part of helping commissioners and providers to work together. 

Seven-day services should be introduced, according to NHS England’s medical director Professor Sir Bruce Keogh. 

He said: “The NHS is owned by the people, so it must serve the people and serve them when they need it. 

“I believe there are compelling arguments for introducing seven-day services, not least when we consider the mortality rates at weekends compared with the number of deaths during the working week.” 

A BMJ study found that mortality rates for routine operations are 82% higher on the weekends than on a Monday. 

Some healthcare trusts are already developing solutions to the five-day service model, with seven-day services increasingly recognised as a wider part of efficiency problems. 

The government will make a decision whether to implement proposed changes in the autumn. 

It is thought the Forum’s conclusions may point to the need for further action, beyond autumn 2013, which may look at seven-day services in other specialist areas, as well as building and offering a programme of support for clinical commissioners. 

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