Thursday is the worst day of the week to go into hospital, according to research.
An analysis of figures by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) finds that patients admitted on a Thursday stay in hospital a day longer on average than those admitted on a Sunday.
The report, Future Hospital: The Progressive Case for Change, which will be published next month, said the structures and procedures of the NHS, rather than medical needs, are resulting in longer hospital stays. It says a patient admitted on a Sunday would stay an average 5.3 days, while those admitted on a Thursday would stay 6.3 days.
Richard Brooks, the associate director of the IPPR, said: "This is not due to medical need, but because many hospitals operate a reduced service at the weekend, creating delays in treatment and discharge."
The think-tank worked out that an extra 500 beds were used last year as a result. It also said that the risk of catching a hospital infection such as MRSA was reduced if patients were sent home quicker.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Health said the research showed "why we are working to increase the use of day-care surgery across the NHS".Reuse content