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Sleep, Health and SocietyFrom Aetiology to Public Health$
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Francesco P. Cappuccio, Michelle A. Miller, and Steven W. Lockley

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199566594

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199566594.001.0001

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European working time directive and medical errors

European working time directive and medical errors

Chapter:
(p.397) Chapter 18 European working time directive and medical errors
Source:
Sleep, Health and Society
Author(s):

F.P. Cappuccio

M.A. Miller

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199566594.003.0018

The 1993 European Working Time Directive (EWTD) is intended to protect employees' health and safety and improve patient safety by limiting the maximum required working hours to forty-eight per week, averaged over up to six months; it was adopted into UK law through the Working Time Regulations 1998. The British government negotiated an extension of up to twelve years before full implementation in the UK was required, and changes affecting the medical profession have been phased in over a five year period, starting in August 2004, when junior doctors' six-monthly average weekly working hours were reduced from seventy-two to fifty-four hours per week. This chapter discusses the implications of the directive along with data from a study designed to test the feasibility and safety implications of a EWTD compliant rota. It addresses concerns regarding continuity of patient care and reduced educational opportunities along with the need for evidence-based policy and decision making.

Keywords:   working time directive, medical errors, junior doctors, rota, safety, training

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