HC Deb 29 January 2003 vol 398 c900W
Chris Grayling

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the cost to each acute trust in the NHS of the introduction of the European Working Time Directive; how many extra staff he estimates will be required as a result of the application of the directive; how many have so far been recruited; and if he will make a statement. [88356]

Mr. Hutton

The European Working Time Directive (EWTD) has applied to the majority of national health service staff since October 1998. The EWTD will be extended to doctors in training from August 2004, initially with a maximum of 58 hours per week, reducing to 48 in 2009.

The Department has not collected figures on a trust-by-trust basis, as work force planning of this kind is the responsibility of local trusts. However, the Department's guidance makes clear that compliance with the EWTD will be achieved only by trusts employing a wide range of solutions and maximising the skills and experience of their whole workforce. This is part of the bigger challenge of modernising the NHS and the guidance will help contribute to finding solutions that work in different specialties, in different hospitals.

The guidance also makes clear that changes to the working practices of both medical and non-medical staff, and building on the increases in consultant and specialist registrars, will allow trusts to meet their objectives under the Directive.