Monday, November 28, 2011

More people die in Hospital at weekends

Here is a case for evidence based everything. Evidence based reporting (unless you write for the DailyMash) and an evidence based response from the NHS.

The BBC article suggests that hospitals are not staffed properly at weekends, particularly with senior doctors. I have no doubt this is true, but does it tell the whole story ?

For those of us who have taken a 2 year old to A & E on the Saturday night of a rugby international, there is an alternative possibility prompted by observing the wave of the self mutilated who spill in through the door after about 9pm. Drink, drugs, sporting injuries, DIY injuries and racing dads car lead to a different profile of injury.  Are they more likely to pop their clogs than tuesday night admissions ? This is where some numbers would help on the profile of the incoming workload.

Do more old people die in hospital at weekends because someone came to visit them, found them in a state, shipped them off to hospital where they pass on ? During the week no one would have visited them, so they would have passed on at home.  Its possible, do the numbers back this up?

The BBC article is quite balanced, needs to take a few small steps more. It would be good to see the histogram at the end split out between A& E and non A & E and by age group.

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