The vast majority of national health service staff have been covered by the European Working Time Directive since 1998. The Government negotiated a staged implementation timetable for doctors in training and is funding pilot projects across the NHS to help trusts implement the 48-hour week from August 2009. Approximately 40 per cent. of doctors in training already work a 48-hour week.
We are monitoring evidence of NHS readiness for fully implementing the 48-hour week for doctors in training. This will inform our assessment of whether to approach the European Commission to use the 2012 derogation to support particular services or specialties.