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Some doctors left in charge of 400 patients at night, study shows

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.c2206 (Published 21 April 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c2206
  1. Adrian O’Dowd
  1. 1London

    Doctors providing medical cover at night are sometimes left in charge of as many as 400 patients, report findings released from an as yet unpublished study.

    Figures from the Royal College of Physicians study found large variations in the provision of medical cover in hospitals at night in terms of number of patients and the seniority of the doctor in charge.

    The college and doctors’ leaders have both called for urgent action as they said the figures raised grave concerns about how patient safety could be guaranteed in all cases.

    The full study will be published in Clinical Medicine, the college’s own journal, in August, but …

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