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EU time 'bad for patients'.

LAWS to protect patient safety have "fai led spectacularly", say UK surgeons.

The Royal Col lege of Surgeons claim that the EU limiting doctors to 48 hours a week has made people "much less safe" than they were.

Their survey of almost 1000 surgeons revealed 80 per cent of consultants - and twothirds of trainees - reckon patient care has deteriorated since European "working time" laws came in.

This is an increase from last October, when 72 per cent of consultants and 59 per cent of trainees felt this way.

Two-thirds of t rainees revealed their training time had decreased - a quarter more than in October 2009.

More than 25 per cent of senior surgeons said they were "no longer able to be involved in all of the key stages of a patient's care", up from 18 per cent last year.

Pressure Nearly three-quarters of trainees and two-thirds of consultants are "consistently" work ing more than the permitted hours.

T he c o l l e g e b e l i e v e the NHS "is st i l l total l y overst retched due to an arbitrary hours regulation".

Senior surgeons, under pressure to clear lists, often operate alone while juniors manage their wards.

John Black, president of the Royal College of Surgeons, said: "To say the European working time regulations have failed spectacularly would be a massive understatement.

"Not only is patient safety worse than it was before the direct ive, but surgeons' working and home lives are poorer for it."
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Aug 2, 2010
Words:254
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