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Working Time Directive

Volume 409: debated on Friday 18 July 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the hospital trusts whose (a) maternity units and (b) accident and emergency departments are expected to be (i) merged and (ii) unable to provide continuous 24 hour cover following the implementation of the European Working Time Directive in August 2004. [126694]

The Department does not accept that achieving Working Time Directive compliance by itself will lead to the closure of services. On 17 July strategic health authorities were asked to ensure that every hospital prepares a local action plan by the end of this year to achieve compliance and maintain local services. Those trusts facing the greatest challenges will have priority when postgraduate deans allocate 1,500 additional specialist registrar training places available this year. Maternity and accident and emergency services will be included in this process.