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Patients give views on 7-day services

11/09/2013

The NHS is needed every day, so it is no surprise evidence is showing that the limited availability of some hospital services at weekends can have a detrimental impact on outcomes for patients, including raising the risk of mortality. At an NHS learning exchange event on 20th August 2013, more than 30 patients’ organisations were there to listen and give their opinion on the 7-Day Services offer for patients, carers and the public. The evidence gathered from the event will now be fed back to the NHS Services, Seven Days a Week Forum, Chaired by Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, and used as part of the Forum’s report due out in the autumn.

Neil Betteridge, Patient and Public Adviser on the Enhanced Recovery Partnership, who chaired the event, said, “We are working towards some long-term solutions for seven days care. The changing expectations of patients make it all the more sensible to involve patients in all the important conversations, like this one today.”

The audience at the learning exchange event took part to share their learning on 7-Day service provision, the questions raised on the day included:

  • Are GPs a barrier to 7-Day Services and is there an absence of social and community care across the week?
  • How is the risk around organisations going to be managed so we don’t get a fragmentation of 7-Day Services?
  • What are 7-Day Services – is it about acute care or elective treatment, and who is going to pay for all this?
  • How are we going to measure 7-Day Services to know they are making a difference?

Dr Ann Driver, Head of Programmes Acute Care, NHS Improving Quality, explains why public engagement is so important to the 7-Days Services Forum: “The aim of the day is to engage with patients, and various provider organisations, so we can truly understand the hurdles and challenges faced in trying to make 7-Day Services a reality right across the NHS. It will also give us the chance to fully explore the opportunities to be had from successfully meeting those challenges.”

Patient feedback is vital in so many ways and this is just another opportunity to have your voice included in a nationwide discussion. What do you think about 7 day services? Click HERE and comment directly to the NHS now. 

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