More consultant “generalists” are needed to deliver seven day hospital care, report says

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: (Published 18 November 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f6915
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. 1BMJ

Reviewing hospital patients on Saturdays and Sundays would lead to earlier discharges, more availability of beds, and safer and more effective care, says a report from more than 20 royal colleges and faculties.

But this will require more consultants to be “generalists” with the skills to manage patients across different specialty areas, says the report by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges.1

Currently, 11% of people occupying hospital beds do not need to be in hospital and their discharge is delayed by non-medical factors, says the academy.

Although keeping hospitals fully functioning at weekends is likely to require investment in both hospital and community services in the first instance, over time costs could fall, it adds.

In a foreword to the report Norman Williams, steering group chairman and president of the Royal College of Surgeons, and Terence Stephenson, chairman of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, say …

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