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Junior Doctors: Working Hours

Question for Department of Health

UIN 34902, tabled on 20 April 2016

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what estimate his Department has made of the number of junior doctors who work at weekends; and if his Department will provide data on the number of (a) weekends and (b) part weekends worked in each month by junior doctors.

Answered on

28 April 2016

The Department does not routinely collect this information. However NHS Employers conducted a survey of employers in January 2016, which asked what percentage of junior doctors worked 1 in 4 weekends or more frequently. The data returned reflected a snapshot (rather than the last six months).

Based on a response from 14 employers in England, 40% worked more frequently than 1 in 4 Saturdays.

Our manifesto commitment, which was translated into the mandate that shaped the contract negotiation, was for the National Health Service to standardise urgent and emergency care, it is not about elective care. It is true that some hospitals do elective work at weekends. That is part of the trust’s local decision-making and it is right for the hospital to make that decision.