RCP Calls On Hospitals To Improve Out-Of-Hours Care

Body Proposes New Working Patterns

02.12.2010

Calls for patients to have access to better care in hospitals across evenings and weekends have been welcomed by a medical negligence expert at Irwin Mitchell.

The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) has demanded that any site admitting acutely ill patients should have a consultant physician on-site for a minimum of 12 hours a day, seven days a week.

It has also called for all wards to have a daily visit from a consultant, which may have to be done through the introduction of new working patterns.

According to the organisation, there is growing evidence that people being treated in hospitals receive substandard out-of-hours care, particularly as there are less senior doctors working over evenings and at the weekend.

Backing the announcement, Mandy Luckman of Irwin Mitchell’s Medical Law and Patients’ Rights team said: “Patient safety needs to be a top priority across the NHS, so it is worrying that research has shown there are issues with the standard of care received by some.

“The proposals put forward by the RCP would ensure more senior authority is present on wards and be a step towards ensuring all patients receive the medical attention they are entitled to.

“We deal with too many cases in which patients are the victims of negligence which could have been avoided. These plans could ensure that the number of these cases declines.”