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Comment on government's response to independent working time taskforce report

22 Jul 2014

Commenting on the government’s response to the review of the impact and implementation of the European Working Time Directive on the NHS, Professor Norman Williams, Chair of the independent taskforce, said:

'As a taskforce we were clear that the one size fits all approach of the Working Time Directive in medicine is detrimental for training and patient care in some specialties. Our recommendations set out a clear path to getting to much needed solutions. The taskforce, which drew support from across the health service, was unified that action is needed now but solutions should not lead to a return to doctors’ working excessively long hours.

'I am pleased the government has accepted our report and committed to explore our key recommendations. In particular the separation of training and education of trainee doctors from their work on the wards has the opportunity to strike the right balance between delivering patient care and ensuring that junior doctors have the right knowledge and skills.'

Notes to editors

The Royal College of Surgeons of England is committed to enabling surgeons to achieve and maintain the highest standards of surgical practice and patient care. Registered charity number: 212808.

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