A computer program for generating New Deal compliant SHO rosters

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In the UK, the introduction of the New Deal on junior doctors’ hours has placed constraints on permissible senior house officer (SHO) rosters. This makes it difficult to construct a rota that satisfies SHOs’ annual leave and study leave requirements, yet remains compliant with the New Deal. A solution is the use of a computer. A computer program is described that generates compliant, full shift, SHO rosters in accordance with annual leave requests. This has been in routine use at the Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals Trust emergency department for the past 18 months. The program lends itself to, but is not specific to A&E applications; it can be used to generate compliant full shift rosters for other specialties. A copy of the program can be downloaded free of charge from a web site.

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