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London NHS staff shortages leading to deaths


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.”


Readers' comments (4)

  • Welcome to your new tory nhs!!!!!!

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  • Oh right, because the lack of staff Nurses is completely safe, right?!?!?!?!?!

    This isn't news. It has been widely known, widely proven and documented for years that the lack of staff Nurses and Doctors lead to poor patient outcomes and an increased mortality rate. That is a fact.

    What is also a fact, and what SHOULD be news is the fact that managers, trusts and the government are either failing to uphold this evidence or actively ignore it by NOT hiring enough staff in the first place. It is THEY, not us, who should be blamed for any lack of care, and it is THEY who should be held to account for the decreased patient safety and increased mortality.

    Anonymous | 23-Sep-2011 9:54 am that is a ridiculous, lazy and erroneous statement! Come up with something a little better eh?

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  • Another way of looking at it - unsupported junior and unexperienced staff cause unnecessary deaths.

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  • The same issues arise at every bank holiday through the year. My Husband (a consultant) calls Christmas in hospital"the killing fields". In fact he will be going in on Boxing day this year to do a ward round because he doesnt want the patients to be left to the mercy of the juniors for a 4 day long weekend.

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