Eleven thousand more health professionals would be required to adequately staff seven day service, a leaked document reveals.
The internal Department of Health report said 4000 of these would need to be doctors – 1600 consultants, 1500 registrars and 900 juniors.
The report, leaked to The Guardian, claimed a seven day service would cost an additional £900m a year after benefits – such as reduced length of stay and reduced admissions – were taken into consideration.
The workforce numbers were calculated by increasing weekend staffing to match weekdays.
The Tory Government pledged their commitment to a seven day service during their election campaign along with the recruitment of 5000 more GPs by 2020.
The report also said it was not possible to “evidence the mechanism by which increased consultant presence and diagnostic tests at weekends will translate into lower mortality and reduced length of stay”.
Seven Day Service Challenge
Dr Mark Porter, chair of BMA council, said: “This leaked document makes it clear that more seven day services will require not only thousands of extra doctors, nurses, and support staff but an additional investment in both the NHS and community care.
“Its findings also show no proven link between weekend mortality rates and consultant presence.”
A DoH statement said: ” There is clear independent clinical evidence of variation in the quality of care across the week, and working together with the NHS we are determined to tackle this problem.”