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Concerns remain about implementation of European Working Time Directive

19 May 2009

John Black, President of The Royal College of Surgeons of England, met the Secretary of State for Health in February 2009 to discuss the impact of the European Working Time Directive (EWTD) on patient safety. The Secretary of State has now written to Mr Black following that meeting with a full response, which unfortunately shows that the advice given to the Department of Health on the impact of EWTD implementation by the surgical profession has not resulted in the necessary action.
 
At the same time, in this week’s BMA News Review, the director-general of NHS workforce at the Department of Health Clare Chapman appears to have effectively ruled out increasing consultant numbers to deal with rota gaps arising as a result of EWTD. The College continues to believe that the full implementation is unworkable and that it will damage quality of patient care and diminish patient safety.
 
Click below to read Mr Black’s response to the Secretary of State, setting out the College’s ongoing concerns about the negative effect the implementation of EWTD will have on patient safety and surgical training.