A recent study has produced findings which suggest that patients are more likely to die if admitted to hospital on a weekend.

The study, authored by researchers from University Hospital Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust and University College London and published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, examined the effect of hospital admission day on death rates across NHS England hospitals for 2013-2014. The results confirm findings from an analysis they undertook for 2009-2010.

You may have seen the recent press coverage relating to the government’s plan to consider introducing fixed recoverable costs for personal injury claims involving clinical negligence worth up to £250,000. There is an underlying premise that this will save the NHS money at the expense of ‘greedy’ lawyers. I find it frustrating that the approach and behaviour of NHS Defendants (which drive up Claimant costs) has so far been overlooked. Additionally, I question the impact that fixed costs would have on injured Claimants’ access to justice.

This week brings the start of meteorological summer and the twin temptations of sunny skies and warmer temperatures invite us to indulge in lazy days on the beach, picnics in the park and barbeques in our gardens.  However, the advent of better weather brings with it increasing UV exposure, which is the main preventable cause of skin cancer. 

The British Medical Journal and the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges have announced a major initiative “Choosing Wisely” aimed at stopping unnecessary tests and treatments.  This is to counter a perceived pressure on the medical profession to “do something” at each consultation.  There have been calls for medicines for mild raised blood pressure, anti-depressants for mild depression and unnecessary blood tests to be looked at carefully.  The Academy is also urging patients to ask their doctors whether there are simpler, safer options.  Professor Dame Sue Bailey is the Chair of the Academy of Royal Colleges and is leading this call to arms.  

Next week, I and other members of Kingsley Napley’s Healthcare Standards Practice have the privilege of attending the Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management Conference in Edinburgh. The Faculty is a UK wide organisation that aims to promote the advancement of medical leadership, management and quality improvement for the benefit of patients at every level of medicine. It promotes excellence in leadership on behalf of all doctors in public health, primary and secondary care from medical students to medical directors and recognises the need for good medical leadership in driving forward improved health and healthcare. It is yet another of those, often unseen - by the public and media, at least - but very positive and forward-thinking elements of the NHS. It should be a stimulating and interesting conference and we are looking forward to it very much.

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