Hospitals could face multi-million pound fines for poor weekend care in a £2 billion plan by NHS England's medical director Professor Sir Bruce Keogh.
The professor told The Sunday Times (£) that the obligation to run a full health service seven days a week will be included in hospital trusts’ contractual agreements.
Breaches of that agreement could lead to them "losing up to 2.5% of their income - a penalty of millions on budgets that can be more than £500 million," the paper reported.
Sir Keogh is set to announce his recommendations today, following a year-long inquiry into NHS care to address the apparent drop in in quality on Saturdays and Sundays.
More top news
85% of products surveyed by the charity Action on Sugar were found to have more of the sweet stuff than Haribo.
New Psychoactive Substances Bill creates a blanket ban on the sale of legal highs, with up to 7 years in jail for selling them.
Pharmaceutical giant Roche is trialling a new type of treatment which could work better than chemotherapy.