Sunday, January 18, 2009

Exhausted surgeons - no thanks

Letter to the Telegraph in response to this article:

Sir, Call me boring an old fashioned but if I need an operation I would rather not have it performed by a surgeon who is into his 49th working hour that week!

Comments that hospitals will be fined for allowing staff to work more than the 48 hour working maximum are, of course, inaccurate as the 48 hours are based on average hours. With proper investment and good planning, reduced total hours should enhance patient care not reduce it. In any case would prefer my operation done by someone who is not exhausted from over work.

It is important to remember that European Working Time Directive is for the protection of everybody. Improving working conditions and safety in the NHS should be key aspects of healthcare policy. Fortunately our Green MEPs, unlike their Tory and Lib Dem counterparts, voted to avoid exhausted surgeons and physicians.

Stuart Jeffery

Health Spokesperson for The Green Party

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