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Challenges and improvements in diagnostic services across seven days

07 March 2014


Across the country, hospitals and primary and community care organisations are working together to look at ways of delivering safe and effective care over seven days a week. This helps address the link between poorer outcomes for patients and the reduced levels of service provision at the weekend.

Diagnostic and scientific services underpin all models of care irrespective of settings and most clinical pathways. Nationally, the seven day service forum, led by Sir Bruce Keogh, Medical Director for NHS England, has set out a plan to drive seven day services across England in the next three years1, as part of a transformational
improvement programme. For this plan to be successful diagnostic and scientific services must be at the centre of service transformation. There are therefore huge opportunities for these services to contribute to delivery of this plan and to improve patient experience and outcomes.

Previous publications by NHS Improving Quality, Equality for all: delivering safe care seven days a week, and more recently, NHS Services open seven days a week: every day counts, provide practical examples of how diagnostic and scientific services have started to design and deliver services to give patients care and treatment
seven days a week.

This new publication summarises service improvement achievements and potential challenges. Whilst significant progress has been made we need to strive to find new and innovative solutions that are both clinically and financially sustainable to change delivery of diagnostic and scientific services to meet the needs of service users.