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RCSEng Statement on Department of Health decision to apply for working time derogation

30 January 2009

Surgeons are clear that an impending crisis in quality patient care can only be headed off by working 65 hours a week including on call. The Department of Health announcement today (January 30 2009) that they are applying for derogation of the European Working Time limit of 48 hours a week will do little to ease concerns. In effect, they are approaching Europe to ask for an increase from 48 to just 52 hours which is far short of what’s needed. We will continue to campaign for the surgical specialty opt out for both surgeons and surgical trainees to protect patient care and ensure highest standards in training can be maintained.