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I recently had occasion to visit hospital with a patient who required immediate, urgent tests. It was a Saturday and I was surprised the hospital was deserted, like a ghost town.  

 

The tests: General obs, Bloods, ultrasound, and MRI scan were completed quickly and efficiently in less than a morning, and the results seen by a registrar doctor who discussed the possibility of an emergency operation . Excellent so far. The results then had to be passed to a Consultant and that wouldn't be until the Monday because the Consultants don't work weekends...

 

I wondered why, in the middle of an NHS crisis with waiting lists bigger than ever, the whole hospital comes to a standstill at weekends?

The facilities are there, and manned, the nurses and doctors work shifts over the weekend, as do cleaners and other auxiliary staff, but this valuable facility is largely put to no good use and lies fallow every weekend because Consultants refuse to work weekends. Why are they exempt from working when other health professionals have to?

 

What a waste in a time of accute need.

 

Your thoughts?

 

 

 

 

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Consultants do work weekends. 

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3 hours ago, Anna B said:

I recently had occasion to visit hospital with a patient who required immediate, urgent tests. It was a Saturday and I was surprised the hospital was deserted, like a ghost town.  

 

The tests: General obs, Bloods, ultrasound, and MRI scan were completed quickly and efficiently in less than a morning, and the results seen by a registrar doctor who discussed the possibility of an emergency operation . Excellent so far. The results then had to be passed to a Consultant and that wouldn't be until the Monday because the Consultants don't work weekends...

 

I wondered why, in the middle of an NHS crisis with waiting lists bigger than ever, the whole hospital comes to a standstill at weekends?

The facilities are there, and manned, the nurses and doctors work shifts over the weekend, as do cleaners and other auxiliary staff, but this valuable facility is largely put to no good use and lies fallow every weekend because Consultants refuse to work weekends. Why are they exempt from working when other health professionals have to?

 

What a waste in a time of 

 

Your thoughts?

 

 

 

 

Many now consult by phone , this is not a good way to communicate with patients who may be worried about their situation .

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15 minutes ago, Leo Tomlinson said:

Many now consult by phone , this is not a good way to communicate with patients who may be worried about their situation .

During the height of Covid I had phone talks with both consultants having had the tests done prior.

The conversation were to the point and thorough as more 'useful' time was available.

This has now reverted to face to face talking but as they now do the testing when I attend, they do not get the full results until after.

I then get a letter with the results which would be hard for many to decypher. As I am in aposition to understand the 'trend' this is no problem. In my two clinics all appointments are now 'face to face'. Next year there will be a trial 'video' conference.

 

I understand that some have to or prefer different styles, perhaps there could be a choice.

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3 hours ago, dan_999uk said:

Consultants do work weekends. 

The hospital was empty. You could all but hear tumbleweed rolling down the corridors... No clinics, no patients, carpark empty. Compare that to a week day when the corridors are so packed with customers you can't get a seat to wait your regulaion 2 hours to be seen. 

 

I would have thought weekends would be an ideal time to see patients to get the waiting lists down. And it would be useful for people who can't get time off work during the week.

We are not talking about A&E which I admit is usually  busy at weekends, but the regular appointments system doesn't give appointments out for weekends, and the rest of the hospital and all that expensive equipment just stands idle.

 

I asked the doctor about it and she said the Consultants don't work weekends.   

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2 minutes ago, Anna B said:

The hospital was empty. You could all but hear tumbleweed rolling down the corridors... No clinics, no patients, carpark empty. Compare that to a week day when the corridors are so packed with customers you can't get a seat to wait your regulaion 2 hours to be seen. 

 

I would have thought weekends would be an ideal time to see patients to get the waiting lists down. And it would be useful for people who can't get time off work during the week.

We are not talking about A&E which I admit is usually  busy at weekends, but the regular appointments system doesn't give appointments out for weekends, and the rest of the hospital and all that expensive equipment just stands idle.

 

I asked the doctor about it and she said the Consultants don't work weekends.   

Been to the Hallamshire today ( a weekday ) with my good lady . Arrived 10 minutes early , seen 5 minutes before appointment . No corridors packed with customers , no regulation 2 hours to be seen .  

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Posted (edited)

Can't add more 'reputation' today, so 👍

Edited by RollingJ

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1 hour ago, Anna B said:

The hospital was empty. You could all but hear tumbleweed rolling down the corridors... No clinics, no patients, carpark empty. Compare that to a week day when the corridors are so packed with customers you can't get a seat to wait your regulaion 2 hours to be seen. 

 

I would have thought weekends would be an ideal time to see patients to get the waiting lists down. And it would be useful for people who can't get time off work during the week.

We are not talking about A&E which I admit is usually  busy at weekends, but the regular appointments system doesn't give appointments out for weekends, and the rest of the hospital and all that expensive equipment just stands idle.

 

I asked the doctor about it and she said the Consultants don't work weekends.   

If the Consultants were working on the weekend they would not be working weekdays.

 

They have their rounds to do, their teaching and lecturing to do, their supervision to do, their own training to do,  their research work to do. Some will have management and departmental resposibilities and some a life. Some will have work commitment outside their contract with the NHS.

There are certainly some departments at weekends with Consultants or highly experieced staff available and also on call.

Most surgery is planned in advance and any weekend work would require specialist theatre staff, anaethatists, radiologists, specialist pharmacists etc. to be available. The non-surgical and outpatient departments and clinics don't have the staffing to cover seven shifts. The day care/recovery/prep wards would need to be staffed sometimes overnight.

 

There are specialist, often commercially run for the NHS, units around the country that specialize in single procedures like hip replacement, cornea work etc. which help eat into the waiting lists and they are open for longer.

 

 

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3 hours ago, Anna B said:

I asked the doctor about it and she said the Consultants don't work weekends.   

Do you think they go to university and do extra training in order to get more money but have no time to spend it with their families?

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2 minutes ago, El Cid said:

Do you think they go to university and do extra training in order to get more money but have no time to spend it with their families?

Nobody is expecting them to work 7 days a week. It'd p'haps work out at one weekend in four when they'd  get 2 days off in the week. In other words, on rotation, like millions of other workers do who have to work weekends. 

 

People get sick 24/7, so shouldn't hospitals work 24/7 as well? They all but close down at the weekends and everything stops.

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16 minutes ago, Anna B said:

Nobody is expecting them to work 7 days a week. It'd p'haps work out at one weekend in four when they'd  get 2 days off in the week. In other words, on rotation, like millions of other workers do who have to work weekends. 

 

People get sick 24/7, so shouldn't hospitals work 24/7 as well? They all but close down at the weekends and everything stops.

They don’t close down at weekends. You have already said your friend was attended to quickly on a Saturday morning.  What are you getting at ?

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21 minutes ago, Anna B said:

 

People get sick 24/7, so shouldn't hospitals work 24/7 as well? They all but close down at the weekends and everything stops.

There is a shortage of staff in the NHS, waiting times in AE are astronomical, never seen before.

There should be enough staff, but NHS staff are international and their wages have dropped behind other countries.

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