The BMA Cymru Wales blog has moved

You should be automatically redirected in 6 seconds. If not, visit
and update your bookmarks.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

EWTD deadline looms closer but NHS Wales seems no closer to being ready for it

No surprises in this story from the Western Mail, yet another looking at the WAG’s (un)readiness for the implementation of the European Working Time Directive this Summer. For a quick recap on EWTD, the position is that come August, junior doctors should not be working more than 48 hours a week.

The surprise here actually comes in the estimate of how many junior doctors the Government predicts will soon be working on non-compliant rotas – 6% out of 600 in Wales. I’m not quite sure how that figure is arrived at, considering not so long ago, the Auditor General for Wales found that more than half of junior doctors in Wales were working more than 48 hours a week.

A real concern for us, and it should be a massive one for patients too, focuses on hospitals which may bring in rotas which meet EWTD compliance, but in practical terms, are unworkable and could jeopardise the safety of both NHS staff and patients.

In the longer term, it will also have a knock-on effect for the future doctor workforce of the Welsh NHS, with crucial training and educational activities being missed, just to provide the basic cover for patients.

We have been warning the Welsh Assembly Government about this for many years now, so it’s a shame that we’re in a position where we are just weeks away from EWTD coming into effect, yet the Welsh NHS seems to be light years away from being ready for it.

No comments:

Post a Comment

What do you think? Leave your comment on this post.