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Nhs Doctors

Volume 410: debated on Friday 19 September 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many additional doctors he estimates will be required in each NHS trust as a consequence of the recent European Court of Justice ruling on the status of rest periods during on-call duties in the application of the Working Time Directive. [131023]

The Department's guidance to the national health service—HSC 2003/001 "Protecting Staff, Delivering Services—Implementing the European Working Time Directive (EWTD) for Doctors in Training" states that while the number of doctors on an individual rota will generally have to increase, trusts should find ways to reduce the number of resident rotas. Thus, the total staffing requirement does not have to increase substantially as a result of the EWTD.To assist trusts in meeting the EWTD and to support increases in consultant numbers, the Department has significantly increased the number of Specialist Registrar (SpR) training opportunities. Priority is being given to hospitals facing EWTD challenges when considering the allocation of 1,500 additional locally funded SpR training opportunities available this year.