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East Lancashire Hospitals Trust 'ahead in providing weekend care'
EAST Lancashire hospital chiefs say they are ahead of other trusts in providing weekend care.
A government shake-up will see hospitals face sanctions unless they deliver the same standards seven days a week.
Changes are being brought in nationally to cut the increased death risk at weekends.
However, East Lancashire NHS Trust said it was confident it can meet increased expectations.
John Dean, associate medical director, said: “We are further ahead than many other NHS organisations in the country with respect to seven-day working and providing consultant cover seven days a week.
“All of our urgent and emergency care services already include consultants directly delivering care from 8am until 10pm seven days a week, with consultants and senior clinicians also available if needed outside those hours.
“We also continue to have a number of inquiries from other trusts who want to learn from us to understand how we are currently able to deliver this level of support.
“We have also recently performed an extensive review of all services to understand how we can deliver the most consistent care 24/7.
“This is now an agreed key priority for all departments to continue to develop further plans to help further our progress with seven day working.”
Nationally, Sir Bruce Keogh, NHS England’s medical director, said he was setting out ‘pretty radical changes’, backed up with some ‘pretty hard levers’ to make sure hospitals complied.
Breaches will cost hospital trusts up to 2.5per cent of their annual income of up to £500m. Sir Bruce indicated the changes, which could cost around £1bn to implement, would result in hospitals making more efficient use of equipment, and expertise.
The increased risk of mortality at the weekend could be as high as 11per cent on a Saturday and 16per cent on a Sunday, according to an analysis of more than 14million hospital admissions in 2009/10.
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