There are many reasons why mortality rates increase at the weekends and they can include emergency admissions with a lesser chance of a good outcome but even taking that into account the study concludes "NHS patients are twice as likely to die after being admitted to hospital at weekend."
The system is flawed and problems can start at any level. Cut the number of staff and services available at weekends and it is a recipe for disaster.
NHS budget restrictions and ways of working mean that staff numbers are reduced at the weekend and in some cases designated weekend staff are the only employees available.
In most cases that may 'only' be ancillary and administrative members of staff but good patient care needs a variety of staff, both hands on and support.
In recent years patient health information has been available via computer systems but sometimes case notes are vital. With budgets slashed medical records and ward administration staffing is limited at the weekends; some case notes may even be in the 'wrong place at the wrong time'.
Locally case note tracking has vastly improved in recent years but it only if all staff follows the rules. If a consultant takes a set of case notes for perusal without them being tracked they are lost in a 'black hole' until they are returned.
Updating NHS computer systems has been problematic, costly and time consuming; the NHS is still the 'pride of Britain' but it lags behind services in some other countries technologically.
Sadly news that mortality rates increase for weekend admissions to the NHS rocks confidence in the service.
But as always tackling root causes will cost money.
Related NHS reports;
If we have money for warmongering we have money for the NHS
Surgeons mortality rates publishing, useful or not