NHS England medical director Professor Sir Bruce Keogh has announced that hospitals in England will be required to ensure consultants and key diagnostic tests are available seven days a week. Research into the “weekend effect” has suggested for some years that hospital mortality rates can be 16% higher for patients with emergency conditions admitted on Sundays compared with those admitted during week days.
The measures announced today are part of a vision unveiled by NHS England to tackle higher death rates at weekends. These changes will be applied to urgent and emergency services over the next three years.
Triggle, N. (2013). Weekend hospital care: ‘Seven-day week’ for senior doctors. London: BBC Health News, December 15th 2013.
Also of interest:
Jeremy Hunt welcomes ‘seven-day NHS’ plan. London: BBC Health News, December 14th 2013.
This relates to:
NHS Services open seven days a week: everyday counts. London: NHS Improving Quality in collaboration with NHS England, November 16th 2013.
Proposals on Workforce Shortages in Emergency Medicine (HEE)
The following document presents joint proposals from Health Education England (HEE) and the College of Emergency Medicine to address workforce shortages in emergency departments to ensure high quality, safe and consistently effective care.
Emergency medicine: background to HEE proposals to address workforce shortages. London: Health Education England (HEE), December 2013.
Foreign Doctors: Trends and Strategies
Increasing numbers of doctors come to work in Britain from Europe, after immigration rules for people outside the continent were tightened.
Stephens, P. (2014). ‘More doctors than ever’ coming to UK from Europe. London: BBC Health News, October 8th 2014.
More Robust Test for Overseas Applicants to UK Medical Register
The General Medical Council (GMC) has accepted recommendations to strengthen the test for doctors from overseas wishing to practise in the UK. An independent review, commissioned by the GMC, to review the Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board (PLAB) test, has recommended a broader assessment of ethical values (as summarised in the GMC’s Good Medical Practice) and a limit on the number of retakes permitted.
Review of the GMC’s PLAB test: final report. London: General Medical Council (GMC), September 25th 2014.
Immigration Skills Charge
The British Medical Association and the Royal College of Nursing want the home secretary to give the NHS exemption from the Immigration Skills Charge of £1,000 per year, payable from April 2017 on overseas doctors and nurses coming to the UK from outside the European Union.
Let NHS off £1,000 overseas doctors charge, urge unions. London: BBC Health News, March 4th 2017.