There have been numerous debates surrounding the now-infamous Jeremy Hunt speech in July last year, when he claimed that 6,000 additional deaths were attributable to NHS staffing levels at the weekends and that mortality increased 15% on a Sunday compared to a Wednesday – statistics which he used in the context of arguing for a change in the Junior Doctor’s contract, to enable a “7-day NHS”.
It has always been speculated that the statistics he used must have been taken from an article (authored by Sir Bruce Keogh, Nick Freemantle, Domenico Pagano and several others) for the British Medical Journal into the association between the day of hospital admission and mortality, prior to its release in September 2015.
In a report for the BMJ journalist Abi Rimmer, after speaking to the authors of the report, numerous people involved at the BMJ, the Department of Health and NHS England, tentatively concluded that the “6000 figure was derived from the 2012 paper, both by NHS England and by Deloitte during its work for NHS England” and that NHS England had “shared this figure with the Department of Health (DoH). It said that the figure had been discussed widely within the organisation, and it had been calculated both internally within NHS England and by Deloitte as part of its work for NHS England on seven day services.”
So far? Interesting.
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