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Opt out of European Working time directive for Surgeons

Comment 1st July 2010

Very simply; allow surgeons to work longer hours. Forty eight hours is a huge shortfall in contact time with patients and trainers which is obvioulsy having a detrimental impact on patient continuity of care and training. The number of hours out current mentors completed in their formative years as surgical trainees was approximately 3 times higher than ours currently. We are expected to work alongside and replace the current generation of consultant/senior surgeons and there is no way this can happen in the current system. Shift work makes doctors more tired as they recover from blocks of night shifts, and although no objective data has been produced the expansion of "rotas" has led to a huge shortfall in junior doctor personnel. Hence these juniors turn into service providers rather than trainess within a symbiotic system that combines service provisiona dn training.

Britain used to be one fo the most desirable places for a surgeon to train worldwide, now we lag well behind our north american and asian/antipodean colleagues who on average work 70 hours. There is a balance and it is certainlynot 48 hours.

I hope common sense prevails, and I know the Lib Dems openly endorsed an opt out for the royal college of surgeons.

Why does this matter?

This will safe guard patient care while optimising training opprtunities for those who will be expected to lead health care delivery on the front lne in the coming years.

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