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Working Time Directive

Volume 408: debated on Thursday 3 July 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of (a) the impact on junior hospital doctors in North Yorkshire of the Working Time Directive, (b) the impact on local hospitals of the implementation of the Working Time Directive and (c) the change in the number of junior doctors the NHS will require in North Yorkshire. [121753]

Working Times Directive (WTD) implementation is only part of the much wider issue of delivering better care for patients and improving the working lives of national health service staff. Its impact cannot be assessed in isolation from other factors. It will require both more staff and staff working differently.Information about plans to implement the WTD across North Yorkshire is not collated. The resources needed to meet WTD targets are included in the local delivery plans agreed between NHS trusts and strategic health authorities.In addition, £46 million has been allocated to the NHS over the next three financial years to support compliance.From September 1997 to March 2002, there has been an increase of over 5,000 junior doctors and career grade doctors working in the NHS. This increase in the number of doctors, together with changes to working practices, will help both meet the WTD targets and deliver targets set out in the NHS Plan.