Junior Doctors Working on Understaffed Rotas

The Survey of more that 1,500 Junior Doctors highlights that:

  • Four out of ten Junior Doctors are working on understaffed rotas
  • Four out of ten vacancies are for specialist trainees with at least five years of experience
  • Six out of ten doctors working in Accident & Emergency said their were vacancies on their rotas

The Chair of the British Medical Association’s Junior Doctor Committee, Dr Shree Datta, said that “In August last year the Department of Heath declared that rota gap vacancies accounted for only 2 per cent of posts, yet six months on our survey paints a very different picture. It is clear that it is an everyday experience for junior doctors to be working on inadequately staffed rotas. Given that inadequate staffing levels have been identified as a major factor in the delivery of substandard care, it is essential for patient safety that this problem is taken seriously. It is hugely alarming to find so many doctors are working in teams short of experienced doctors. In settings like A&E, which is experiencing the highest levels of understaffing, it is especially critical that experienced specialists are on hand to make the decisions that can mean the difference between life and death.”

What is the European Working Time Directive?

The European Working Time Directive (EWTD) ‘lays down the minimum requirements in relation to working hours, rest periods and annual leave’. The legislation became law in the UK on the 1st October 1998 as the ‘Working Time Regulations’ and although it applied to the vast majority of workers certain exceptions were made, including for doctors in training. In 2004 the EWTD provisions were extended to doctors in training and hours were reduced to a maximum 56 hours in August 2007 and a maximum 38 hours in August 2009.

The EWTD stipulates that workers must have:

  • 11 hours continuous rest in 24 hours
  • 24 hours continuous rest in 7 days (or 48 hrs in 14 days)
  • 20 minute break in work periods of over 6 hours
  • 4 weeks annual leave
  • (for night workers) an average of no more than 8 hours work in 24 over the reference period

Commonwealth Contractors

At Commonwealth Contractors we partner with OISC Registered Private Immigration Firms and Tier 2 Licensed Healthcare and IT Consultancies who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor an individual on a Tier 2 Visa (formerly UK Work Permit). If you are a highly skilled International professional and you would like to work in the UK Commonwealth Contractors can help. Our OISC Registered Partners specialise in Tier 1 General (formerly Highly Skilled Migrant Programme) visa applications and can assist those highly skilled individuals that either wish to apply or extend a Tier 1 General Visa.

For more Information call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0330 390 9021 or Submit your details now and we will get right back to you.


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