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Hospital discharge rates are thought to be lower at weekends than weekdays. Potential factors for this observation were studied.Consecutive data for all major elective colorectalprocedures wereprospectively collected from three surgeons in a busy district general hospital over a 3 year period. Demographics,preoperative anaerobic threshold, ASA grade, type of operation performed, use of stoma, duration of in-patient stay and day of operation and discharge were carefully recorded. Data were analysed using the Chi-square test and multifactorial regression analysis (P < 0.05 was significant).There were 295 patients; day of discharge was as follows - Monday (23%), Tuesday (20%), Wednesday (19%), Thursday (11%), Friday (14%), Saturday (7%), Sunday (4%). Patients were less likely to be discharged on weekends when compared with weekdays (11% vs 89%, P = 0.001). Age (P = 0.66), gender (P = 0.34), anaerobic threshold (P = 0.38), ASA grade (P = 0.77), duration of inpatient stay (P = 0.15) and use of stoma (P = 0.55) were not associated with a greater likelihood of a weekday discharge.Patients are less likely to be discharged on weekends. None of the factors studied in our patients are responsible for this observation. Physicians may be responsible for a low rate of discharge of patients on weekends.