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Home Industry News EU working time rules ‘could lead to shortage of skilled surgeons’

EU working time rules ‘could lead to shortage of skilled surgeons’

3rd August 2010

European rules designed to improve patient safety are harming doctors’ training and compromising patient care, surgeons have warned.

The rules were brought in one year ago and restricted doctors’ working hours to 48 hours per week.

However, the Royal College of Surgeons of England believes that, since their implementation, patients have become much less safe in NHS hospitals and the situation is likely to worsen even further.

A survey by the college found that 80 per cent of consultant surgeons thought patient care had deteriorated under the directive, while 65 per cent of surgical trainees said their training time had decreased.

John Black, president of the Royal College of Surgeons, claimed: “To say the European Working Time Regulations has failed spectacularly would be a massive understatement.”

A spokesman for the Department of Health insisted that the UK will not go back to having doctors work “excessive hours”, but conceded that the directive in its current condition is “clearly unsatisfactory”. ADNFCR-8000103-ID-800011258-ADNFCR

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