Professor Paul Aylin is Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health at Imperial College London. His particularly focus is on safety in healthcare, which has led him to produce research on some of the biggest healthcare scandals in recent British history. In this podcast, he talks about the work he and his colleagues have carried out in relation to the Bristol heart scandal, the Dr Harold Shipman enquiry and, notably, the research that helped bring the appalling standards of care at Mid Staffs to light. More recently, Professor Aylin has investigated the weekend effect in UK hospitals.
The weekend effect is the name given to the finding of a difference in mortality rates at the weekend in hospitals, specifically an increased number of deaths among patients at the weekend compared to during the week. This finding received a great deal of attention in the UK in 2016 during the disputes over the new Junior Doctors’ contract, and it was hotly debated. Professor Aylin carefully explains the research he and his colleagues have carried out in relation to the weekend effect, and addresses some of the peculiarities of the controversy their findings created.