NHS Employers responds to the GMC report on doctors' working hours

Surgeons discussing case notes

14 / 2 / 2013 Midnight

NHS Employers says research on doctor's working hours published today by the General Medical Council (GMC) reinforces the employers' view that the junior doctors' contract should be renegotiated.

Dean Royles, director of the NHS Employers organisation, said:

"The European Working Time Directive (EWTD) is often blamed for stopping junior doctors finding time to train and develop their skills. Employers believe that improvements to the junior doctors' contract would streamline their working patterns, releasing time to train and provide quality care while keeping within the hours set by the EWTD.

"Excessive working hours are detrimental to doctors and affect the quality of the care they give, so it's important we work together to produce an outcome that enables them to work efficiently and to the best of their ability.

"The GMC's report is an important contribution to the discussion about how NHS doctors' contracts could be improved.

"Improvements to the junior doctors' contract, in particular, could greatly benefit both staff and their patients. The services the NHS provides and the way it provides them have changed significantly since the contract was initially drawn and as a result, it is not longer fit for purpose.

"A renegotiated junior doctors' contract could simplify processes, increase the focus on patients, enhance training opportunities and achieve less rigid shift patterns."

Notes to Editors

The proposed reforms to junior doctors' and NHS consultants' contracts were discussed at an event hosted by NHS Employers in London on 29 January. Click here for more information.

The NHS Employers organisation is the recognised body for employers in the NHS, supporting them to put patients first. See www.nhsemployers.org for more information.

Follow NHS Employers on Twitter at @nhsemployers or follow Dean Royles, director of the NHS Employers organisation, at @NHSE_Dean; or for medical pay and workforce matters its head of medical pay and workforce, Bill McMillan, at @NHSE_Bill.

A full list of NHS Employers press releases and statements can be accessed at our Media Centre.

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