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Emergency medical admissions at weekends are older and more functionally dependent than those admitted on weekdays
  1. Paul K Hamilton1,
  2. Mark V Roberts2,
  3. Jonathan Dawson3,
  4. Michael Trimble4
  1. 1Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, Belfast, UK
  2. 2Acute Medical Unit, Craigavon Area Hospital, Southern Health and Social Care Trust, Portadown, UK
  3. 3Anaesthetic Department, Ulster Hospital, South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust, Dundonald, UK
  4. 4Acute Medical Unit, Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, Belfast, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Paul K Hamilton, Specialty Registrar in Chemical Pathology, Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, Grosvenor Road, Belfast BT12 6BA, UK; paul.hamilton{at}belfasttrust.hscni.net

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The recent announcement by the UK’s Health Minister of the need for reform in the delivery of inpatient medical care has seemingly been triggered by evidence showing poorer outcomes for patients admitted to hospital at the weekend.1 While differences in staffing levels might have a part to play in this, other factors may also be important.

We analysed the characteristics of patients admitted to the Acute Medical Unit at the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast during November 2012. This is a large unit in a major teaching …

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