Junior doctors' working hours: Perspectives on the reforms

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The European Working Time Directive for junior doctors came into force in Britain in August 2004. The reforms themselves have been a long time in development and implementation since the inception and debates regarding the New Deal, to the current formations under health and safety legislation. This study, undertaken within a hospital trust setting in England, provides an insight into the perspectives of doctors, nurses and human resources managers in relation to the European Working Time Directive. Critical consideration is given to the impact of the reforms upon the National Health Service and more specifically to daily working relationships at the point of implementation. The results demonstrate some ambivalence towards the reforms because of the major shift in culture for the professions per se, but also for the future of health-care delivery where there are considerable tensions.

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