Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Working Time Regulations Are Failing Doctors And Patients, Experts Argue

Date:
July 31, 2008
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
Recent changes to working regulations in the UK are seriously damaging the working life and education of junior doctors and patients are also suffering, warn senior doctors on BMJ.com today. The British government must relax the regulations of the European Working Time Directive or it could spell disaster for medicine in the UK, say the authors.

Recent changes to working regulations in the UK are seriously damaging the working life and education of junior doctors and patients are also suffering, warn senior doctors in the British Medical Journal.

The British government must relax the regulations of the European Working Time Directive (EWTD) or it could spell disaster for medicine in the UK, say the authors.

"British medicine is highly respected worldwide because of the training provided and the breadth of experience and clinical expertise of most consultants and GPs", write Hugh Cairns and colleagues from King's College Hospital in London. But the EWTD is threatening this reputation by having a negative effect on medical training and taking doctors away from direct patient care. No amount of teaching can substitute for this practical experience, they add.

Introduced to improve workers' safety and protection, the directive changed the maximum working week to 56 hours in 2007, with a planned further reduction to 48 hours in 2009, and a minimum requirement of 11 hours rest in any 24 hour period.

According to the authors, these changes have posed considerable problems for medicine in the UK because of the need for junior medical staff to work long hours to fulfil training requirements and to provide a 24 hour service to patients.

They point out that the EWTD has dramatically changed working patterns in hospitals. Junior doctors are spending an increasing amount of their time "handing over" to incoming staff, reducing the time available to provide patient care. In addition, they say, a large part of junior doctors' working weeks are spent on solitary out-of-hours shifts with "little or no training value", which will only get worse with the introduction of a 48 hour week.

Furthermore, they say, many specialities are having to share junior staff because of insufficient numbers of juniors to provide a legal "rota", resulting in poorer continuity of care, and many patients receiving almost no routine care at night and at weekends.

The directive "is not achieving any of its presumed aims for junior medical staff—quality of life has not improved, training has deteriorated, and, for most patients, medical care is not safer", claim the authors.

They propose that the government abandon the further reduction of the working week from 56 to 48 hours and call for the minimum daily rest to be changed from 11 to eight hours. At the very least, they conclude, hospitals and medical staff should be exempt from the 48 hour limit.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Working Time Regulations Are Failing Doctors And Patients, Experts Argue." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 July 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080731205421.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2008, July 31). Working Time Regulations Are Failing Doctors And Patients, Experts Argue. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080731205421.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Working Time Regulations Are Failing Doctors And Patients, Experts Argue." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080731205421.htm (accessed September 22, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) Liberia's finance minister is urging the international community to quickly follow through on pledges of cash to battle Ebola. Bodies are piling up in the capital Monrovia as the nation awaits more help. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) A Florida doctor who helped fight the expanding Ebola outbreak in West Africa says the disease can be stopped, but only if nations quickly step up their response and make border control a priority. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Newsy (Sep. 21, 2014) More than 100 tons of medical supplies were sent to West Africa on Saturday, but aid workers say the global response is still sluggish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins