Weekend Allied Health Services
6 vs 5 day per week rehabilitation services
Many inpatients receive little or no rehabilitation on weekends. This project led by Professor Nick Taylor, aimed to determine the effect of providing additional Saturday rehabilitation during inpatient rehabilitation on functional independence, quality of life and length of stay compared to 5 days per week of rehabilitation. This trial randomly allocated 996 rehabilitation inpatients to receive additional allied health services from Monday to Saturday or usual-care rehabilitation services from Monday to Friday. Patients in the weekend therapy group were discharged about 2 days earlier at a higher level of function, with benefits sustained for 6 months after discharge. The service was cost effective with benefits to the patient and savings to the health service. The evidence from this trial has been used to inform the Standards for the provision of Inpatient Adult Rehabilitation Medicine Services in Public and Private Hospitals published by the Royal Australia College of Surgeons, which now recommend that “The provision of therapy on weekends is strongly recommended as it has been shown to increase functional independence, physical activity, quality of life and in some cases, reduce length of stay”.