A lack of consultants is contributing to the death of hundreds of hospital patients every year in London, the NHS has revealed.
People admitted for treatment at weekends have more chance of losing their lives than those who come in during the week.
Simply by investing in more staff and making more diagnostic scans available, at least 500 lives could be saved every year, a report by NHS London showed.
It also noted a “stark variation” in staffing levels across the city’s hospitals.
The report, Acute Medicine And Emergency General Surgery - case for change, read: “If the weekend mortality rate in London was the same as the weekday rate, there would be a minimum of 500 fewer deaths a year.
“Reduced service provision at weekends is associated with this higher mortality rate.”
“This means that the NHS in London is providing an inequitable service to Londoners and that the quality of care that they receive is impacted by the day of the week or the hospital at which a patient happens to present with their illness. This is not acceptable.”