Intended for healthcare professionals


England abandons monitoring of compliance with working time directive

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 01 September 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d5553
  1. Helen Jaques, news reporter
  1. 1BMJ Careers
  1. hjaques{at}

The NHS in England has abandoned its national monitoring of whether doctors’ rotas comply with the 48 hours a week limit stipulated in the European Working Time Directive.

The “ministerial return” that hospital trusts previously submitted on compliance with the directive was cancelled in August 2010 “to reduce bureaucracy.” As such the Department of Health in England was unable to provide information on the proportion of rotas that comply with the directive, unlike the health departments in Wales, where all junior doctor rotas comply; Scotland, where compliance is 99%; …

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