Cameron to promise 7day NHS

All hospitals in England would have consultants on duty seven days a week by 2020 under a future Conservative government, David Cameron is to pledge.

Mr Cameron has begun speaking at the party’s spring forum, and is due to say more hospitals must provide top-level treatment at the weekend reports BBC.

The move, aimed at cutting weekend mortality rates, builds on plans set out by health service managers.

Labour said Tory plans for “extreme” spending cuts threatened the NHS.

It has put the health service at the forefront of its own election campaign, with leader Ed Miliband promising on Friday to cap the amount of profit private firms can make from the NHS in England.

Speaking at the forum in Manchester later, Mr Cameron will warn that figures show patients are “more likely to die” if they are admitted at weekends.

Official studies suggest mortality rates for those admitted on Saturdays and Sundays are 11% and 16% higher respectively than for those admitted on Wednesdays.

While Mr Cameron will praise hospitals already providing top-level weekend services, he will say coverage is often patchy, with some key resources “not up and running and key decision-makers not always there”.

Hospitals across England, he will say, should be expected to offer consultant-level services at the weekend, particularly in accident and emergency, and in supporting urgent care services such as diagnostics.

Mr Cameron will say: “Illness does not respect working hours. Heart attacks, major accidents, babies – these things don’t just come from nine to five.

“With a future Conservative government, we would have a truly seven-day NHS.

“Already millions of people can see a GP seven days a week but by 2020 I want this for everyone… [to be] the first country in the world to make it happen.”

This, he will say, will reduce the anxiety for patients and help the NHS to meet the growing demand from an ageing population.