Objective To determine whether patients treated in hospital on the weekend report different experiences of care compared with those treated on weekdays.
Design This is a secondary analysis of the 2014 National Health Service (NHS) adult inpatient survey and accident and emergency (A&E) department surveys. Differences were tested using independent samples t-tests and multiple regression, adjusting for patient age group, sex, ethnicity, proxy response, NHS trust, route of admission (for the inpatient survey) and destination on discharge (for the A&E survey).
Setting The inpatient survey included 154 NHS hospital trusts providing overnight care; the A&E survey 142 trusts with major emergency departments.
Participants Three cohorts were analysed: patients attending A&E, admitted to hospital and discharged from hospital. From the inpatient survey’s 59 083 responses, 10 382 were admitted and 11 542 discharged on weekends or public holidays. The A&E survey received 39 320 responses, including 11 542 (29.4%) who attended on the weekend or on public holidays. Weekday and weekend attendees’ response rates were similar once demographic characteristics were accounted for.
Main outcome measures For the A&E survey, six composite dimensions covered waiting times, doctors and nurse, care and treatment, cleanliness, information on discharge, and overall experiences. For the inpatient survey, three questions covered admissions and two dimensions covered information about discharge and about medicines.
Results People attending A&E on weekends were significantly more favourable about ‘doctors and nurses’ and ‘care and treatment’. Inpatients admitted via A&E on a weekend were more positive about the information given to them in A&E than others. Other dimensions showed no differences between people treated on weekdays or on weekends.
Conclusions Patients attending emergency departments or admitted to or discharged from an inpatient episode on weekends and public holidays report similar or more positive experiences of care to other patients after adjusting for patient characteristics.
- health services research
- patient-centred care
- patient satisfaction
- standards of care
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