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'Nothing happens at the weekend'

  • Comments (5)

Patients should be as safe in hospital at the weekend as they are during the week. And from a nursing point of view we need to avoid that ‘nothing happens at the weekend’ feeling that patients can get.

It is important to maintain quality of care every day of the week. For example, patients who are being helped to get dressed should not be left in their pyjamas at the weekend or left in bed rather than being sat out in the chair.

It can be tempting for a mood of ‘it’s only the weekend’ to become part of the culture of care. Patients may not be having surgical procedures or going for X-rays during the weekend but they can still progress and develop from the nursing care that they receive.

It can be hard to keep up energy levels at the weekend as well as during the week. I remember it sometimes being hard to maintain the momentum during the weekend. It does require that wards and units be sufficiently well-staffed to avoid patients experiencing the equivalent of being held in a holding bay for 48 hours, waiting for care to ignite again first thing on Monday morning.

Weekends can be difficult for patients - particularly if they do not have visitors. The care that nurses offer can help patients to make progress in their recovery, whatever the day of the week it is.

  • Comments (5)

Readers' comments (5)

  • Anonymous

    What about weekend cleaning!

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  • michael stone

    Things might have changed since 1995, when my dad needed a prescription in hospital on a Sunday, and they had to get an external GP to write one, as he told it !

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  • I've had a fair bit of experience from a patients or relative of a patients viewpoint. I have never felt that the nursing staff were taking an 'its only the weekend' attitude and I applaud them for it.

    I have, however, regularly experienced a lack of doctors, surgeons. and other basic support services that have led to (sometimes critical) care being delayed or even put off entirely until the monday. That, I feel, is unforgivable but I also recognise it is not the fault of the nurses who are so often left to carry the can.

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  • Anonymous

    i agree with John 5th Dec 4.22pm that nurses should not be blamed for short comings
    speaking from personal experience patients are kept in holding bays wards from friday till monday and it can be tuesday before things move forward
    i can not understand in this day and age why theatres close at 5pm on a friday only opening for emergencies at the weekend that senior doctors hand over to junior staff who make life death decisions, that a senior doctor may visit the ward late in the evening of the weekend, all this i experienced with my husband when he was ill he was subjected to incompetant treatment by some of these junior doctors who appeared to be left to there own devices

    the nhs should run a 24 hour service 7 days a week

    recently i went into hospital and stayed over the saturday till sunday morning the hospital was like a ghost town i needed a dr on the friday night for pain relief and was told there was only one doctor on call and he was busy in A & E i was in agony i never make a fuss but this did make me really angry i was made to feel like i was being selfish requesting a doctor after major surgery and i had pain that wasnt controlled and i wasnt the only one
    i want to know how long before some one actually recognises that staff shortages resulting in patient deaths need to be addressed as no one appears to be listening at the moment

    as i get older i have no faith in the nhs my patients tell me horror stories of treatment received and often say please dont send me back to hospital these are vunerable often poorly human beings who deserve better,
    they have paid for this service why do we accept poor treatment and service from the nhs when we would not accept from any other area ?????????

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  • Anonymous

    kathryn, "A report out this week," which report? please, even if you can't hyperlink to it the title, authors and journal would be much appreciated.


    "shows that people admitted to hospital over the weekend have a higher mortality rate," so that's peole admitted, not people already there. so what might be different about/for these people? home diy injuries? blood alcohol level? who knows? the report's authors perhaps.

    interesting to see in an information vaccuum we immediately start blaming nurses' weekend attitudes or lack of doctors before even considering what might be different about the patient profile of weekend admissions.

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