News in brief: May 2010
The implementation of the European Working Time Directive last August, which prevents junior doctors working more than 48 hours a week, has led to increased sick leave, says a new study.
Published in the Royal College of Physicians’ journal Clinical Medicine, the study at a general hospital in East Sussex looked at sick leave data for all junior doctors in the year before, and after, the European Working Time Directive. Mortality and length of stays in hospital “did not alter significantly” over the period, but episodes of sick leave among junior doctors more than doubled from one in three taking sick leave in the year before, to nearly three in four the year after.
“We are concerned that this has significant implications for patient safety and the quality of medical training in the UK,” said Dr Andrew Goddard, director of the medical workforce unit at the Royal College of Physicians,