Study finds no weekend effect in England's major trauma centres

October 28, 2016, University of Oxford
Study finds no weekend effect in England’s major trauma centres. Credit: University of Oxford

Patients admitted to NHS major trauma centres at the weekend have near identical outcomes to those admitted during the week, according to a new study of more than 49,000 patients published in the Emergency Medicine Journal.

NHS major trauma services in England show no signs of a 'weekend effect', Oxford University-led research has found.

Using data from all 22 major trauma centres (MTCs) in England, a team from Oxford, Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield and Harvard universities looked for evidence that people who arrived at hospital on Saturday or Sunday had worse outcomes than those admitted on a weekday.

Lead researcher, Oxford University's Dr David Metcalfe, said: "Earlier studies raised the possibility that patients have worse outcomes when admitted to NHS hospitals at weekends.

'We wanted to know whether this is true for severely injured patients taken to specialist hospitals that have been configured to provide a similar level of service for injured patients on every day of the week.

'Severely injured patients in MTCs have access to on-site consultants, specialists, and supporting services like CT scanners and operating theatres at all times.'
The study, published in the Emergency Medicine Journal, used the comprehensive national database operated by the Trauma Audit and Research Network (TARN), which receives data from all 22 MTCs. It collects data on all patients with a severe injury who are admitted for at least three days or die after arriving at hospital.

The team found no differences in the proportion of patients that died or made a good recovery based on the day on which they arrived at hospital. Although the length of hospital stay for patients admitted on a weekday or a weekend during daytime was the same, those arriving at night on the weekend night had a slightly shorter length of stay.

Dr Metcalfe added: 'The TARN database is specifically designed to collect outcome data for severely injured patients and so we can be confident that there is no in this area. This is clearly good news for patients.'

Explore further: Study shows major omission in evidence of 'weekend effect' on mortality rates in hospitals

More information: David Metcalfe et al. Is there a 'weekend effect' in major trauma?, Emergency Medicine Journal (2016). DOI: 10.1136/emermed-2016-206049

Chris Moulton. That old weekend effect!, Emergency Medicine Journal (2016). DOI: 10.1136/emermed-2016-206226

Related Stories

Study shows major omission in evidence of 'weekend effect' on mortality rates in hospitals

October 18, 2016
According to new research in the BMJ Quality & Safety journal, previous studies showing an increased risk of mortality following admission to hospital at weekends have failed to take account of the higher severity of patients' ...

National study casts doubt on higher weekend death rate and proposals for seven-day hospital services

May 6, 2016
A University of Manchester analysis of all patients across England receiving emergency hospital care has shown that, contrary to popular belief, fewer patients die after being admitted to hospital at the weekend compared ...

Patients admitted as weekend emergencies significantly older and more disabled

January 28, 2016
Patients admitted as medical emergencies at the weekend are significantly older and more dependent than those admitted to hospital on other days of the week, indicates a study of one major acute hospital, published in Emergency ...

Study examines 'weekend effect' in emergency surgery patients

August 15, 2016
Research has pointed to a 'weekend effect' in which patients admitted to the hospital on Saturdays or Sundays are more likely to die than those admitted on week days. A new study has now assessed whether a weekend effect ...

Higher risk of death for patients admitted to NHS hospitals at the weekend

September 6, 2015
Patients admitted to hospital at the weekend are more likely to be sicker and have a higher risk of death, compared with those admitted during the week, finds an analysis published in The BMJ this week.The analysis was carried ...

Study of 55 million people adds further evidence that patients admitted to hospital at weekends have higher mortality

June 1, 2014
A systematic review and meta-analysis of hospital data worldwide, presented as this year's Euroanaesthesia meeting in Stockholm, adds further evidence that patients admitted to hospital at weekends have higher mortality than ...

Recommended for you

First ever meta-analysis on Indian lead exposure reveals link to devastating intellectual disability in children

October 12, 2018
New Macquarie University research has revealed the devastating disease burden associated with elevated blood lead levels in India. The results of the first ever meta-analysis of Indian blood lead levels found the burden of ...

The long-term effects of maternal high-fat diets

October 12, 2018
If a mother eats a high-fat diet, this can have a negative effect on the health of her offspring—right down to her great-grandchildren. This is the conclusion drawn by researchers at ETH Zurich from a study with mice.

Sit-stand office desks cut daily sitting time and appear to boost job performance

October 11, 2018
Sit-stand workstations that allow employees to stand, as well as sit, while working on a computer reduce daily sitting time and appear to have a positive impact on job performance and psychological health, finds a trial published ...

Molecular link between body weight, early puberty identified

October 11, 2018
Becoming overweight at a young age can trigger a molecular chain reaction that leads some girls to experience puberty early, according to new research published in Nature Communications.

Hearing and visual aids linked to slower age-related memory loss

October 11, 2018
Hearing aids and cataract surgery are strongly linked to a slower rate of age-related cognitive decline, according to new research by University of Manchester academics.

Hundreds of patients with undiagnosed diseases find answers, study reports

October 10, 2018
More than 100 patients afflicted by mysterious illnesses have been diagnosed through a network of detective-doctors who investigate unidentified diseases, reports a study conducted by scientists at the Stanford University ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.