In October 2013, Professor Norman Williams, President of the Royal College of Surgeons, was asked to chair an independent taskforce on the implementation of the Working Time Directive and its impact on the NHS and health professionals. The independent taskforce included representation from across the medical profession. It reviewed the evidence on the effect of the regulations on the delivery of patient care and the training of doctors. The final report of the taskforce was delivered to the Secretary of State for Health on 3 April 2014.
- The final report of the independent working time regulations taskforce.
- The accompanying Chair’s letter to Secretary of State.
The final report makes six recommendations:
- That the NHS should review best practice in the design of working practices, and share examples of the successful delivery of patient care and the training of junior doctors.
- The specific challenges faced by some specialties should be addressed in further work.
- The lack of flexibility brought about by the court judgments is tackled, whilst ensuring doctors don’t suffer undue fatigue.
- The possibility of creating protected education and training time for junior doctors should be explored.
- The findings of this report will need to be taken into account in the on-going contractual negotiations.
- More consideration should be given to encourage wider use of the right for individual doctors to opt out of the current restricted hours.
During the course of this review, the taskforce issued a call for evidence, to hear from as many groups as possible.
To view each individual response please click on the links below.
- Academy of Medical Royal Colleges
- Association of Surgeons in Training
- British Medical Association
- General Medical Association
- Health Education England and the England Postgraduate Deans
- Medical Protection Society
- NHS Employers
- Royal College of Anaesthetists
- Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
- Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health
- Royal College of Physicians
- Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh
- Royal College of Physicians of Ireland
- Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow
- Royal College of Radiologists
- Royal College of Surgeons
- Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh
- Royal College of Surgeons, Women in Surgery
In addition to those organisations listed above a number of individuals submitted responses, summarised in this document.