Health secretary warns NHS trusts of WTD deadline

secretary John Reid has warned NHS trusts not to be complacent about the
approaching deadline for the Working Time Directive (WTD) on 1 August.

At a
conference in Birmingham, he called on all NHS trusts to firm up the proposals
they have been working on for the past two years on how they would deliver
ahead of the deadline.

said that although there was no single magic solution for ensuring working
hours for junior doctors comply with the European WTD, he urged health chiefs
to look at the results of a joint project undertaken by the Department of
Health’s NHS Modernisation Agency and the British Medical Association, called ‘Hospital
At Night’.

It aims
to encourage hospitals to decide which healthcare staff they really need to
have resident out of hours, and which non-medical employees could take on work
traditionally done by doctors at night.

said: "The WTD is an issue I take very seriously. That is why we have
already invested heavily in finding solutions nationally, working with the
profession. The NHS must now strive to ensure that that these lessons feed
through into local innovative solutions, which are effectively implemented.

lot of work has been done in the NHS to prepare for the WTD, but there is still
a lot of work for all of us to do," he added. "I want to see all
trusts taking the lessons from Hospital at Night and using them, where
appropriate, to help deliver the WTD from August."

Mike Berry


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