Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

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 weekend effect in this area. This is clearly good news for patients.'

The paper, Is there a 'weekend effect' in major trauma?, is published in the Emergency Medicine Journal.

Find out more

Original paper Is there a 'weekend effect' in major trauma? is published in the Emergency Medicine Journal.

Similar stories

£1.2M to improve diagnosis of emergency spinal condition

The National Institute for Health and Care Research has awarded an Advanced Fellowship to Dr David Metcalfe to study the diagnosis of the spinal condition, cauda equina syndrome.

Professor Chris Lavy appointed to WHO technical advisory group

Congratulations to Professor Chris Lavy, who has been appointed to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) technical advisory group for integrated clinical care for a period of two years.

Oxford receives NIHR funding to test anti-TNF on post operative delirium

Researchers at the University of Oxford have been awarded a grant from the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) to investigate whether anti-tumour necrosis factor (TNF) therapy can reduce or prevent post operative delirium/cognitive deficit.

Gene variant links trigger finger and carpal tunnel syndrome

A new NDORMS study, published in The Lancet Rheumatology, has found a genetic variant that increases the risk of both carpal tunnel syndrome and trigger finger, and opens the door for new therapies that involve blocking the IGF-1 pathway.

Kennedy programmes support early career researchers

Since 2013 the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology has been running a Career Development Programme, a scheme to help early career researchers launch their own independent laboratories, and more recently the Innovator Investigator Programme to bring new technologies to core research themes.

OCTRU collaboration boosts understanding of COVID vaccine response

Working with researchers across multiple universities, the Oxford Clinical Trials Unit (OCTRU) played a key role in delivering results of the national VROOM trial (Vaccine Response On Off Methotrexate).