HC Deb 22 June 1999 vol 333 c319W
Sir Nicholas Lyell

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will set out the rest requirements for an on-call rota for junior hospital doctors, pursuant to the Health Service Circular 1998/240; and if he will list those health authorities and hospitals in which the requirements of that circular are being observed. [86708]

Mr. Denham

Doctors employed on an on-call rota are contracted to work a maximum average of 72 hours per week, 40 standard hours and up to 32 additional duty hours, with the expectation that they should not actually work more than 16 of the additional duty hours.

Health Service Circular 1998/240, issued on 23 December 1998, provided further national guidance to trusts on rest requirements. Doctors should spend at least one half of the out-of-hours duty period at rest between 5pm and 9am Monday to Friday or 9am to 9am Saturday and Sunday. Within these periods there should be a minimum continuous 5-hour rest period between the hours of 10pm and 8am.

We have not collected specific data on compliance solely within the terms of HSC 1998/240. However, trusts who comply fully with the New Deal are entitled to apply for accreditation. As at 31 March 1999, out of a total of 343 trusts in England, 67 trusts have been granted accreditation, and 77 are under consideration for accreditation.

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