25 June 2009
The Royal College of Surgeons has reacted with astonishment to the latest reports* from the Department of Health claiming success in the reduction of junior doctors’ hours and reassuring patients their care will not be disrupted.
Speaking on the issue College President John Black said: “On the basis of the SHA returns we have seen over recent months indicating a significant and worsening problem with EWTD compliance in Trusts with April’s figures revealing a third of rotas struggling to fill posts, the Royal College of Surgeons is at a loss to understand the success the Department of Health is claiming in addressing this issue.
“Given that ‘inability to recruit’ was not a permissible criterion for applying for derogation, the relatively low number of rotas applying for the extension does not reflect the true story being played out at the frontline of hospital care. It is not credible to use these figures to suggest that problems have been solved almost overnight. The college continues to maintain that the situation is very serious indeed and believes that misrepresentation of the nature and scale of the problems that hospitals will face in providing safe and effective services to patients in coming months is grossly irresponsible and does a great disservice to those who rightly expect safe and high-quality care.”
*See: Hansard – Health Question Time - 23 June 2009: Column 645-646
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