Monday, 3 August 2009

The European Working Time Directive (again)

So, the European Working Time Directive has finally come into force for doctors in training, and it’s in the news again. Last year I wrote about what I felt about the EWTD and why I think, overall it’s probably a good thing. I haven't really changed my opinion in the intervening time.

Basically, if you’re organised and the system is on your side, there’s an awful lot that can be achieved in 48 hours.


Oliver Smith said...

It probably is a good thing, and should a doctor (like anyone else) wish to work more than 48 hours in a week then they are allowed to - they just can't be forced into it.

My only concern is that health boards and trusts will rely on the goodwill of doctors' not wanting to see their patients' suffering to make up the short-fall in hours, rather than having to recruit more clinical staff (or as is seen already evident in some areas, an over-reliance on nurse-practitioners to make-up the short fall in doctors' hours).

But I, as a patient, would much rather see a doctor who is having enough sleep and time away from work meaning the are more likely to be thinking clearly and be less likely to miss something when carrying out an examination/operation).

Sir L said...

You may change your mind when you become a consultant and rather than your quality of life improving a bit you find that you are a registrar for the rest of your life.

From experience I recommend you shack up with someone who is not another consultant because now that all consultants are working as senior registrars is makes family life impossible if your combined on call rota's become 1 in 3.

EWTD is cool in the short term but remember you'll spend 8-10 years as a junior and about 35 years as a consultant.

You point is correct about government motivation. It is a way to return to the happy days of everyone working for free because of their professional drive.