Prime Minister David Cameron will promise voters a “seven-day NHS” by 2020, starting with emergency care and extending to supporting services.
At the Conservative spring conference in Manchester, the Conservative leader will say patients are currently “more likely to die" if they turn up at the hospital at the weekend, and that all hospitals in the UK should therefore have consultants on duty seven days a week.
Statistics reveal that those admitted on Saturdays and Sundays are 16 per cent and 11 per cent more likely to die than those admitted in the middle of the week, which highlights the need for more diagnostics and consultant clinics at the weekend.
"Illness does not respect working hours. Heart attacks, major accidents, babies - these things don't just come from nine to five,” the Prime Minister is expected to say.
"With a future Conservative government, we would have a truly seven-day NHS. Already millions of people can see a GP seven days a week but by 2020 I want this for everyone... [to be] the first country in the world to make it happen."
With May's general election fast approaching, the debate over the future of the NHS is heating up on both sides. This latest promise is additional to a Conservative pledge to extend GP opening times to eight in the evening, every day of the week.
Yesterday, Labour leader Ed Miliband promised to add £2.5bn of new investment to the NHS and to cap profits made by private providers, describing the Conservatives' NHS spending cuts as too extreme.