NHS Official re-opens debate on 7 day a week hospital staffing

Blurred out hospital ward

Last month, we blogged on the question of whether it’s time for the NHS to be fully staffed 7 days a week. This followed  a report in the Herald newspaper that research company Dr Foster had found a "worrying" 10% spike in deaths at weekends compared with weekdays, across 147 hospital trusts in England.

Now, the Herald reports that a senior NHS official has re-opened the debate, indicating that specialists will be asked to cover late-night and weekend shifts when the new South Glasgow Hospital opens in 2015.  

Robert Calderwood, Chief Executive of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, who made the comments, noted that increased staffing would mean patients receiving “…the most appropriate, highest-quality care, the quickest we can provide it”

This is an important and laudable aim. But should we wait until 2015? Or should, as we blogged last month, the NHS aim to become a service like other public services and be fully staffed 7 days a week?