While much recent research has cast doubt upon the validity of the “Weekend Effect” construct, the authors of this qualitative research focus instead on the perceptions of patients and hospital workers regarding the quality and safety of care at weekends. Thematic analysis of input from patients and staff at three UK hospital Trusts identified four broad threats to quality and safety as being of likely greater importance at weekends: (i) rescue and stabilisation of sick patients, (ii) monitoring and responding to deterioration, (iii) timely and accurate management of the therapeutic pathway, and (iv) errors of omission and commission.
Given slow progress towards seven day working in NHS acute care trusts, it is thought that concentrating on care processes and systems resilience might help compensate for the “known” sub-optimal staffing numbers, skills mix and reduced access to certain hospital resources at weekends
Sutton, E. Bion, J. [and] Aldridge, C. [et al] (2018). Quality and safety of in-hospital care for acute medical patients at weekends: a qualitative study. BMC Health Services Research. December 29th 2018; 18(1): 1015.