The review on doctors' working time puts safety first

Doctor looking at ultrasounds

22 / 7 / 2014 10.44am

The Government today broadly welcomed a report by the independent Taskforce on the impact of Working Time Directive on the NHS.
Dean Royles, chief executive of the NHS Employers organisation, responded:
“Employers were clear in the review that patient and staff safety are our prime concern. We have no desire to return to excessive working hours which would be bad for patients and for doctors. It is clear that the majority of professional bodies believe the Working Time Directive has been implemented in a way that maintains safe and effective training of doctors. It is ten years after implementation of the Directive and they have provided the Taskforce with plenty of evidence. It is important this is shared widely. We wanted recommendations that give stability and enable effective planning.
“The participation of NHS Employers and the British Medical Association in the Taskforce means the parties have already been able to consider the report's carefully developed recommendations in the current talks about junior doctors’ contracts, particularly all the evidence and case studies showing how careful, considered implementation is key. It is through those contract negotiations that doctors can have a framework to work in that puts patients first and supports sensible working hours.
"Effective training of junior doctors is of course hugely dependent on the availability and presence of consultant doctors and, as we move ever closer to seven day care, having more consultants on site for more of the week will add to that training experience. The sooner we conclude the consultant contract negotiations, the better for patients and for those that care for them.”

Notes for editors:

  • In October 2013, the Secretary of State for Health commissioned an independent Taskforce to review the impact and implementation of the WTD on training of doctors and quality of patient care in the UK, and to recommend solutions to problems identified. The Taskforce reported, with six recommendations, in March 2014 – a copy of their report can be found here.
  • The NHS Employers organisation is the recognised body for employers in the NHS, supporting them to put patients first. See for more information.
  • Follow NHS Employers on Twitter at @nhsemployers or follow Dean Royles, chief executive of the NHS Employers organisation, at @NHSE_Dean.

Contact details:
If you have a media enquiry, please contact the press office:
Mike Foster
Senior Media Officer
NHS Employers
Tel: 020 7799 8671
For out of hours media enquiries, please contact the duty press officer on 07880 500 726.

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