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Junior doctors working fewer hours

14 November 2011

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“Most” junior doctors are no longer being asked to work longer than 48 hours a week, BMJ Careers has found.

The European Working Time Directive (EWTD) imposed a limit on working time of 48 hours a week in August 2009. However, rotas at 77 hospital trusts were “derogated” from this limit until July 2011 and were allowed to work up to 52 hours a week.

A report by BMJ Careers confirms training rotas for junior doctors in 57 trusts are now complaint with the directive.

“I would be very concerned if they hadn’t done it,” said Ben Molyneux, deputy chair of the British Medical Association’s Junior Doctors Committee.

“If they are operating outside of 48 hours they’re operating illegally.”

Some trusts had made their derogated rotas compliant with the 48-hour limit as of 2009. Others, such as Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals Trust, had only ensured compliance by October this year.