Medicopolitical Digest

NHS Executive will not give single definition of hours of workDebate opens on accountability in the NHSReductions in defence medical services causes BMA concernBMA will join managers in top level talksLabour party accuses government of privatisation by stealth

BMJ 1995; 310 doi: (Published 21 January 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;310:196
  1. Linda Beecham

    NHS Executive will not give single definition of hours of work

    NHS Executive will not give single definition of hours of work The NHS Executive has decided that a single definition of junior doctors' hours of work would be too narrow and restrictive. But in his latest letter to health authorities, NHS trusts, and regional task forces on implementing the new deal the executive's medical director, Dr Graham Winyard, says that in broad terms “doctors on duty are at work when they are not resting. For example, a doctor contracted for a 72 hours on call rota must have 16 hours of rest in order to meet the target of an average of 56 hours work a week.”

    The letter sets out in detail the action that should be taken to ensure full implementation of the new deal “at the earliest possible date.” Dr Winyard says that where work is too high for an on call rota—for example, when out of hours calls are so frequent that reasonable periods of uninterrupted rest cannot be secured—efforts should be concentrated on moving junior doctors to a partial or full shift system. The new monitoring arrangements, which were announced at the end of 1994, should ensure that nationally and regionally there was an accurate and consistent picture of the working lives of junior doctors. Dr Winyard emphasises that junior doctors must be directly involved in developing monitoring systems, collecting data, and validating results.

    To improve the monitoring arrangements task forces have been asked to collect data on the comparative performance of units. This will be made available to purchasers and may …

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