Intended for healthcare professionals


Study casts more doubt on weekend effect

BMJ 2016; 355 doi: (Published 20 October 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;355:i5675
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. London

New research that took into account whether patients came to hospital by ambulance shows that much of the “weekend effect” identified in previous studies is likely to be explained by variation in severity of illness.1

The study, published in the BMJ Quality & Safety, found that a higher proportion of patients admitted to hospital at the weekend arrived by ambulance than during weekdays and that this was a marker for illness severity.

Previous studies, including one published in The BMJ,2 had shown higher death rates among patients admitted at weekends than …

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