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Doctors: Working Hours

Health written question – answered on 8th May 2008.

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Photo of Andrew Lansley Andrew Lansley Shadow Secretary of State for Health

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate his Department has made of the number of junior doctors required to ensure that no junior doctor works more than 48 hours per week by August 2009; and how many junior doctors were working in the NHS at the latest date for which figures are available.

Photo of Ann Keen Ann Keen Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Health Services), Department of Health

It is for national health service trusts to implement the European working time directive (EWTD) as part of their health and safety obligations. The Department has commissioned NHS National Workforce Projects to support local implementation of the EWTD for doctors in training through a range of innovative pilot projects and supporting tools. These solutions do not rely on lots more doctors in training and the NHS has already increased the number of trainee doctors by more than half since 1997.

There were 16,024 junior doctors working in the NHS as of 30 September 2007.

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