§ Miss McIntosh
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent assessment he has made of the impact in the NHS of the working time directive on(a) the training of junior hospital doctors, (b) nurses and (c) accident and emergency departments in hospitals. 
§ Mr. Hutton
Compliance with the working time directive (WTD) is a legal requirement for all employers. Responsibility for its implementation in the national health service rests with local operational authorities. We have vested responsibility for monitoring compliance with strategic health authorities (SHAs), as part of mainstream NHS performance management.
NHS trusts' plans to comply with the WTD were agreed with SHAs, which continue to support their achievement throughout the NHS. These plans take account of the need to maintain the quality of medical education and training; to develop the contribution made by staff in other disciplines; and to continue to provide excellent services to patients.