This blog post appeared on the NHS England website on 8 October 2013
Professor Keith Willett, NHS England’s Director for Acute Episodes of Care, and who is also leading Professor Sir Bruce Keogh’s Urgent and Emergency Care Review, explains how and why 7-Day Services could be made to work across the NHS.
Having introduced 24/7 services with resident consultants while heading the John Radcliffe orthopaedic trauma clinic at Oxford, I have lived seven-day services for almost twenty years. I know it works.
It works from many angles: increasing early senior involvement improves decision-making which results in better care and resource use; patients and carers are reassured and there is less changing direction – a better healthcare experience. Junior medical and nursing staff are better supported and the opportunities for training increase. It also works for patient safety
We also showed in Oxford in 1994 how a seven day service could be highly efficient and cost effective. We reduced admissions and shortened length of stay– and we did it in a hospital that wasn’t really otherwise offering full seven day services.