No random drug tests for doctors

The
NHS Confederation and the Department of Health have denied a report that
doctors and nurses face random testing for drink and drugs under plans being
drawn up by NHS trusts.

An
article in the Sunday Observer claimed the NHS Confederation, which represents
NHS trusts, had confirmed the proposals were being introduced as part of a
review of work safety procedures.

But
a spokesman for the NHS Confederation told Personnel Today this was not the
case.

She
said, “It is highly unlikely that random drug testing would ever be introduced
nationally in the form of a Department of Health of directive.

“Random
testing should not be introduced arbitrarily, that would be counter productive.
It should be agreed with staff organisations.

“If
the issue has to be addressed it will be through some overall guidance as part
of an occupational health approach to substance abuse.”

A
Department of Health spokesman, commented, “The Department of Health has
absolutely no plans whatsoever to introduce any form of drug testing amongst
any members of staff in the NHS. All staff have access to occupational health
services which offer advice, support and rehabilitation on drug and alcohol
problems.”

www.doh.gov.uk

By Ben Willmott. Click here to respond.

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