NHS England’s National Medical Director, Sir Bruce Keogh, has made available more information about plans for seven day services across the NHS (based on findings from the Forum on NHS Services, Seven Days a Week) to be introduced over the next three years. The implementation plans start with urgent care services and supporting diagnostics.
Ten new clinical standards describe the standard of urgent and emergency care all patients should expect seven days a week; for example, how quickly patients admitted to hospital should be assessed by a consultant, the diagnostic and scientific services which should always be available, and the handover processes between clinical teams.
“These standards undo more than 50 years of accumulated custom and practice that have failed to put the interests of patients first”.
The report presents the findings of an investigation into seven day services across the NHS. It discloses variations in outcomes for patients admitted to hospitals at the weekend across the NHS in England. Causes include:
- Variable staffing levels in hospitals at the weekend.
- Fewer decisions makers of consultant level and experience.
- Lack of consistent support services, including diagnostics.
- Lacks of the community and primary care services to prevent unnecessary admissions and support timely discharge.
NHS England’s Sir Bruce Keogh sets out plan to drive seven-day services across the NHS: new clinical standards backed by rewards and sanctions. London: NHS England, December 15th 2013.
This relates to:
NHS services, seven days a week forum: summary of initial findings. London: NHS England / NHS Services, Seven Days a Week Forum, December 2013.
Sections in this report include:
- The Forum’s ambition for service improvement.
- The case for change – setting out the evidence.
- Clinical standards.
- Workforce and organisational development.
- Finance and costing.
- Incentives, rewards and sanctions.
- Implications for service models.
- NHS Diagnostic and Scientific Services.
- Conclusion, actions and next steps.
- Appendix A: NHS Services, Seven Days a Week Forum: terms of reference and membership.
- Appendix B: Clinical standards.
- Appendix C: NHS IQ Early Adopters.
- Appendix D: Stakeholder engagement strategy.
The full document is also available:
Board Paper – NHS England: NHS Services, Seven Days a Week. Paper NHS121315. London: NHS England / NHS Services, Seven Days a Week Forum, December 2013.
Costing Seven Day Services: NHS Services Seven Days a Week (HFMA)
This Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) report examines the financial implications of seven day services for acute emergency and urgent services (including diagnostics support).
NHS Services Seven Days a Week Forum (2013). Costing seven day services: the financial implications of seven day services for acute emergency and urgent services and supporting diagnostics. London: Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA), December 17th 2013.
Seven-Day NHS by 2020?
Conservative election promises (2015) have been made for hospitals across England to offer consultant-level services during evenings and weekends by 2020, to help eliminate unwarranted “weekend-effect” mortality rates. Weekend working promises to enhance performance in accident and emergency services, and the supporting urgent care / diagnostics services:
Election 2015: Cameron to promise ‘seven-day NHS’ by 2020. London: BBC Health News, March 28th 2015.