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Junior doctors plan further hours' survey

BMJ 1994; 309 doi: (Published 01 October 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;309:882
  1. L Beecham

    Under the new deal on junior doctors' hours of work no doctor should be contracted to work more than 72 hours on an on call rota in hard pressed posts after 31 December 1994. The Junior Doctors Committee does not believe that this target will be achieved universally and plans to survey junior doctors before the end of the year to highlight those places where the targets are not met.

    In the anonymous questionnaire doctors will be asked to provide details of their working patterns, contracted hours, whether these include cover for colleagues' annual and study leave, and the maximum number of hours on duty without a period off duty. There are questions on standards of accommodation, personal security, and catering. The JDC also wants to know if doctors regret taking up a career in medicine.

    The progress reports from task forces for the period 30 September 1993 to 31 March 1994 show that if the rate of reduction of hard pressed on call posts remained the same until the end of the year there would still be 5500 posts (21% of all posts) outside the contracted hours' targets. Since the reports were completed, however, several steps have been taken. Task forces have been given a greater role in approving further staff grade posts and, with postgraduate deans, to vary the number of senior house officer posts. A further £11.6m was made available for 125 extra consultant posts. Authorities and trusts were asked to conduct an urgent review of skill mix and reassess working arrangements.

    The medical director of the NHS Executive, Dr Graham Wingard, …

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