day NHS studies.

HiSLAC’s latest study, Quality and safety of in-hospital care for acute medical patients at weekends: a qualitative study, has been published in BMC Health Services Research.

The authors conducted four focus groups and completed six in-depth interviews, with 19 clinicians and 12 patients, recruited from three UK hospital trusts. Both clinicians and patients felt that patients who were very sick were prioritised at the weekend and, on the whole, received a similar level of care at the weekend as during the week. But they did suggest in order to achieve this focus staff resources were allocated away from less sick or stable patients, potentially resulting in reduced quality of care and increased risks of delays and deterioration for these patients.

The paper suggests that a focus on explaining the reasons for increased mortality for weekend admissions risks obscuring important questions about the quality and safety of care and concludes, “Wholesale restructuring of hospitals…to provide full 7-day services may not be feasible, effective, or cost effective”

Links to the open access article and an easy-to-use briefing sheet are available here.

The findings are from the final phase of a five-year study. HiSLAC (‘High-intensity Specialist Led Acute Care’) is an independent research collaboration funded by the National Institute of Health Research Health Service and Delivery Research Programme (NIHR HS&DR) and based at the University of Birmingham.

HiSLAC’s Chief Investigator Prof Julian Bion has also co-authored the publication: The weekend effect in status epilepticus: a national cohort study.

Published in Anaesthesia, the study evaluated the association between weekend admission and in-hospital mortality - comparing university hospitals with other hospital - for 20,922 adults admitted to UK critical care with status epilepticus from 2010 to 2015.

The authors concluded that there was no evidence that adults admitted to UK critical care with the life-threatening syndrome are more likely to die than similar patients admitted during the week.


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