Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Weekend staffing and mortality

Dr Foster’s correlation oversimplifies complicated and multifactorial problem

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 02 April 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e2430
  1. Colin M A Wasson, associate medical director, intensive care consultant1
  1. 1Stockport NHS Foundation Trust, Stockport SK2 7JE, UK
  1. colin.wasson{at}

Like many trusts across the country, we were worried by Dr Foster’s report of increased mortality at weekends and the correlation with reduced levels of medical staffing.1 I routinely review the case notes of all patients who die, looking for learning points or systematic errors that could be rectified. Recently, I reviewed 53 consecutive deaths, specifically comparing weekday …

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