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Editorial
, 10 (8), 399-403

The European Working Time Directive: A Practical Review for Surgical Trainees

Editorial

The European Working Time Directive: A Practical Review for Surgical Trainees

J E F Fitzgerald et al. Int J Surg.

Abstract

The European Working Time Directive (EWTD) 2003/88/EC is a Union Directive laying down minimum health and safety requirements for the organisation of working time. Originally primarily intended as labour law, its progressive introduction up to full implementation for doctors-in-training in August 2009 has substantially reduced duty-hours and caused widespread concern in surgery. Detrimental effects on the continuity of patient care, reduced availability of medical staff with associated rota difficulties, and the reduction in time for training junior doctors have been widely cited. Craft-specialities such as surgery and those providing an acute service have faced particular challenges. This review offers a practical guide for surgical trainees, explaining the European regulations in the context of current terms and conditions of doctor's employment in the UK. Information is provided on protecting training, opting-out, seeking remuneration for this, and ensuring doctors and patients are protected with appropriate medical indemnity cover in place.

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