More than half of nurses think their ward or unit is dangerously understaffed, a Nursing Times survey revealed today.
The NHS is looking into revelations that 8,000 patients a week, some elderly and vulnerable, are being sent home from hospital overnight.
New data shows that more than one in four hospitals have raised their parking fees for patients and visitors, but I think I have a solution.
The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges has launched its report outlining its commitment to delivering high quality care to patients seven days a week.
Click here to read the full report.
– Dr Mark Porter, chair of council at the British Medical Association
Today's guidance is an extremely ambitious plan for the NHS in England, particularly at this time of major structural change and continuing financial pressure.
While many of the aims are laudable, new clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) will have the very real challenge of putting these aspirations into practice.
While we are committed to improving services at weekends and in the evenings, today's proposals to provide routine NHS procedures seven days a week are too crude and fail to take into account the resources, investment and flexibility that will be needed to achieve this.
– Sir Richard Thompson, president of the Royal College of Physicians (RCP)
Patients deserve the best care in hospitals in the evenings and at weekends.
In 2010 we recommended that any hospital admitting acutely ill patients should have a consultant physician on-site for at least 12 hours per day, seven days a week, who should have no other duties scheduled during this time.
We believe that to make this aim a reality, some services will need to be redesigned and may have resource implications.
– NHSCB chief executive Sir David Nicholson
There are big challenges, not least the financial backdrop, but we must be ambitious. We want to make the NHS the best customer service in the world by doing more to put patients in the driving seat.
We are determined to focus on outcomes and the rights people have under the NHS Constitution, as well as ensure those most in need gain most from the support we provide.
Sir Bruce Keogh of the NHS commissioning board has said that the health service should move towards a seven-day model, and drew on Tesco as an example.
He told the Sunday Times: “If you wanted a day case operation, and you didn’t want to take a day off work, why can’t you have it on a Saturday or Sunday?
“Tesco have had to go through this – it was a complex issue for them.”
However the British Medical Association (BMA) has rebuffed the comparison.
A spokeswoman said: “The health service is not Tesco — I don’t think that is a good comparison.
"As doctors, of course we want to improve services we offer patients, but there has to be investment in sources that underpin that.”
Hospitals and GP practices will provide services seven days a week, the report states, claiming that the move is "essential" to offer a more patient-focused service.
It will also improve clinical outcomes and reduce costs, the report states.
Medical director Sir Bruce Keogh will establish a forum to find a way to implement a seven-day service. He will report on his findings in autumn next year.
As a first step, the forum will look at diagnostics and urgent and emergency care, the spokeswoman said.
Routine NHS services are to be provided seven days a week, a new body has proposed.
The health service "needs to offer greater customer convenience" by running throughout the week, the NHS Commissioning Board (NHSCB) said.
The organisation, set up under the Health and Social Care Act, has published its first planning guidance to the NHS.
Dr Andrew Goddard, the director at the Royal College of Physicians, which represents hospital doctors, told the Guardian: "If you ask any doctor in this country they would say that the system is straining to burst; particularly in winter, but now it's increasingly happening the rest of the year.
"Hospitals always seem to be full."
Death rates at 12 NHS hospital trusts were alarming alarmingly high last year, according to an influential report.
The Dr Foster Hospital Guide found the number of patient deaths were above expected levels at the 12 trusts.
It said risks to patient safety were caused by hospitals "full to bursting", with many regularly breaching the 85 per cent limit put in place to protect patients.
Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has told Daybreak that an Ofsted-style rating system will put pressure on hospitals and care homes to improve standards.
He said: "The best possible way [to improve standards] is to expose where care is not at satisfactory level."