Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. 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

Matthew Costa elected Fellow of Academy of Medical Sciences

Matthew Costa, Professor of Orthopaedic Trauma Surgery at NDORMS, has been elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences.

COVID-19’s high blood clot risk

A recent study of patient health records found that around 1 in 100 people with COVID-19 had a venal or arterial thrombosis, with rates higher still among males, and particularly for those hospitalised.

REF 2021 results for medical research in Oxford

Today the UK Funding Bodies have published the outcomes of the recent national research assessment exercise, the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021.

Nurses' Day 2022

Today marks Nurses' Day 2022. This year's theme is #BestofNursing, so we chatted to some of our amazing Research Nurses about what the Best of Nursing means to them.

Rethinking pain management after injury

NDORMS researchers are to study whether a pain management treatment using cognitive behavioural therapy will improve recovery for people who have had a major leg injury.

Breakthrough in treatment for Dupuytren’s disease

Injection of the anti-TNF drug adalimumab into Dupuytren’s disease nodules is effective in reducing nodule hardness and nodule size.