Clinical standards

Does your trust meet recommendations for consultant cover at weekends?
The King's Fund
Event type: 
Board Leadership Programme

About this event

The 2011 review of London’s acute medical and emergency general surgical services identified significantly reduced and varied consultant involvement in patient care overnight and at weekends when compared to weekdays, across London’s acute hospitals. It also demonstrated that patients admitted to hospital as an emergency at the weekend in London had a significantly increased risk of dying compared to those admitted on a weekday – a finding that has recently been reflected nationally in analysis carried out by Dr Foster Intelligence.

Over the past 18 months, London has developed and commissioned a set of evidence-based minimum quality standards for adult emergency services – acute medicine and emergency general surgery – and audited all acute hospitals against them.

Data showed that a minimum of 500 lives in London could be saved every year if the mortality rate for patients admitted at the weekend was the same as for those admitted on a weekday. Reduced service provision, including fewer consultants working at weekends, was associated with this higher mortality rate.

This panel session with Derek Bell, Celia Ingham Clark and Marilyn Plant will debate the opportunities and threats surrounding this report and discuss options for improvement.


Celia Ingham Clark

Celia Ingham Clark trained in general and colorectal surgery and became a consultant at Whittington Hospital in 1996. She spent time as Director of Medical Education and Clinical Director before serving as Medical Director from 2004 to 2012, including during the transition to an Integrated Care Organisation with community services and some social services. She now works as National Clinical Director for enhanced recovery and acute surgery and as Medical Director for Revalidation and Quality for NHS England (London).

Marilyn Plant

Marilyn Plant is a GP in South West London where she has worked for more than 20 years. She is currently co-chair of the South West London clinical working group on urgent and emergency care and clinical lead for workforce.

Marilyn has been involved in at least three major acute service reviews and has developed an interest in commissioning urgent and emergency care. She held posts as medical director and professional executive chair in a primary care trust and established the successor pathfinder clinical commissioning group before stepping down to concentrate on roles in South London Health Education and supporting plans for strategic transformation in South West London. 

Marilyn was clinical lead for urgent and unscheduled care in the Healthcare for London clinical advisory group and contributed to the Royal College of Surgeons’ emergency general surgery standards report in 2011. She was a member of the London health programme quality standards groups for emergency surgery and urgent care.