daveliuhk88
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Hello guys,

I'm about to graduate next year, and I have received mixed information that under the new contract our working hours are protected under EWTD, therefore the average working hours per work cannot exceed 48 hours.

However, some told me that because of staffing issues, hospitals simply will force us to work unpaid overtime, so realistically we will have to work over 70 hours per work.

Is this claim true?

On the other hand, I've heard cases where 2 junior doctors are assigned to look after 150 patients on a shift. I've even heard that some hospitals will ask doctors from a different rotation to cover the other department because they cannot find anyone to cover the rota gap.

This is extremely unsafe and radiculous. Is this claim true again?
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ecolier
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(Original post by daveliuhk88)
...However, some told me that because of staffing issues, hospitals simply will force us to work unpaid overtime, so realistically we will have to work over 70 hours per work.
Yes, this is possible but there are plenty of safeguarding to stop this from happening. If you really were forced to work overtime, you can exceptional report it. There are also guardians of safe working there to stop these from happening.

On the other hand, I've heard cases where 2 junior doctors are assigned to look after 150 patients on a shift. I've even heard that some hospitals will ask doctors from a different rotation to cover the other department because they cannot find anyone to cover the rota gap....
Again, possible but you can report it as above.

The BMA is the doctors' trade union, if you have any concerns make sure you (1) report it to your supervisor (2) report it to HR / GoSW (3) let the BMA know (if you are a member).
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daveliuhk88
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(Original post by ecolier)
Yes, this is possible but there are plenty of safeguarding to stop this from happening. If you really were forced to work overtime, you can exceptional report it. There are also guardians of safe working there to stop these from happening.



Again, possible but you can report it as above.

The BMA is the doctors' trade union, if you have any concerns make sure you (1) report it to your supervisor (2) report it to HR / GoSW (3) let the BMA know (if you are a member).
So would you say that the general working condition has improved under the new contract?

At the same time, I know it is the management who control my rota, but will my consultant also interfere with my schedule as well, such that they will ask me to work unpaid overtime in order to cover the gaps? I mean will there be any sort of pressure from them?
Last edited by daveliuhk88; 5 days ago
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ecolier
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(Original post by daveliuhk88)
So would you say that the general working condition has improved under the new contract?
It depends on where you work, but at least there is a comeback if you exceed the hours.

Nowadays, if you feel you are too tired to go home after work, the trust have to either give you free accommodation at the hospital or put you in a taxi.
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nexttime
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(Original post by daveliuhk88)
Hello guys,

I'm about to graduate next year, and I have received mixed information that under the new contract our working hours are protected under EWTD, therefore the average working hours per work cannot exceed 48 hours.
Yes you are legally protected. And your rota will be compliant - if it isn't you report it.

However they find ways around it. For example, you are expected to do audits which can take a fair few hours, but they don't have to give you time for that. You are expected to do postgraduate exams which have really really low pass rates and are really expensive so you need to do lots of prep... but they don't have to give you any time off at all. And then if you stay like 30 mins later per day that's hardly worth reporting... so you can end up with say 55ish hours being reality when officially its not a minute over 48.

However, some told me that because of staffing issues, hospitals simply will force us to work unpaid overtime, so realistically we will have to work over 70 hours per work. Is this claim true?
Its possible but it'd be on the extreme end. That's 4 hours late every day assuming a 5 day working week. I have heard of that on the old contract once or twice, but not the new. And on the new you'd be exception reporting and so getting paid for those hours for sure.

A much more likely scenario is that you have to stay like an hour late maybe twice per week and very occasionally 2 hours late, and you exception report and you get paid and its annoying but that's how things are.

On the other hand, I've heard cases where 2 junior doctors are assigned to look after 150 patients on a shift.
Only 150?!

On an on call its quite normal to have 250, 300 patients under the medical on call team. In my former hospital we'd be looking after 9 wards of 30, and between 8am-12 there'd be one FY2, then 12-8pm there'd be two. There was a reg too but they'd also be looking after the AMU and admissions so not really around unless an emergency. And that's far from the worst example I've heard.

I've even heard that some hospitals will ask doctors from a different rotation to cover the other department because they cannot find anyone to cover the rota gap.
Yes possible when you are an unspecialised junior. I don't think its too unreasonable either tbh, as long as you have the support of seniors. Its not like when you start as a surgical FY1 you get this amazing teaching that transforms you into the surgical FY1 - you just get thrown onto the ward and told to get on with it and call when you run into trouble Doing the same when on call isn't really any different!

This is extremely unsafe and radiculous. Is this claim true again?

You will likely run into a number of query unsafe practices in your time. Sometimes its because people genuinely don't realise how service demands are changing, sometimes its because of unreasonable or money-grabbing seniors. Its up to you to raise the problem so it can be dealt with.
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nexttime
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(Original post by daveliuhk88)
So would you say that the general working condition has improved under the new contract?

At the same time, I know it is the management who control my rota, but will my consultant also interfere with my schedule as well, such that they will ask me to work unpaid overtime in order to cover the gaps? I mean will there be any sort of pressure from them?
The rota is ultimately determined by consultants usually. There might be a secretary running things day to day though.

In my experience the new contract has somewhat improved things.
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fishfacesimpson
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Working hours are undoubtedly more protected across the board since 2016. No more 7 nights in a row, 12 days in a row etc. This doesn't mean all rotas are nice or easy to work, however. And of course most jobs are generally more intense and heavier than 4 years ago especially acute specialties.

Whether these changes have positively impacted patient care, continuity of care or training, I think is debatable. Probably too much department variation to generalise
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Jckc123
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I heard stories about how juniors are more protected in teaching, bigger hospitals so I can't say.

I'm based in a 800-1000 bed dgh whereby there's only 1 F1 covering medical and surgical each during oncalls. It's busy but you get used to it with helpful seniors. And with the new contract and exceptional reporting, I personally feel it's an improvement (did not work under the old contract so it's just basing on opinions)
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Anonymous #1
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Lol
I'm an F1 and I cover 8 wards on a night shift (the only F1 on) so in total I look after around 180 patients.
There is always at least an F2 and usually a CT on nights.

I also work 12 day shifts; depending on your current area it is 108 to 100 hours in total.
One week in 9 will be 40 hours.
Our week that has nights we work a total 64 hours then 3 days off.

I do manage to leave on time most days however and yes the 12 days are long but we're used to it now as we don't know any different tbh. It's a DGH & we have no rota gaps atm for us F1s. Busy but I feel we're learning a lot and used to dealing with sick patients on our own. For instance, DKAs/HHS are managed by us on the wards - I've started and stopped many protocols, especially during my nights.

As an F1 you just have to get on with it, someone has to do it and you just accept it and you don't know any different.
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Etomidate
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Nobody can “force you” to do anything. You’re a grown adult, not a naughty school child.

Junior doctors seem to have an indoctrinated state of learned helplessness straight from medical school.

You are contractually obliged to work your hours and no more. If a patient arrests as you’re walking out the door, you are ethically obliged to stay and help. Anything else should be handed over safely unless you choose to stay late.

Yes, there is pressure and manipulation to do so, but nobody is going to physically block the door.
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(Original post by Etomidate)
Nobody can “force you” to do anything. You’re a grown adult, not a naughty school child.

Junior doctors seem to have an indoctrinated state of learned helplessness straight from medical school.

You are contractually obliged to work your hours and no more. If a patient arrests as you’re walking out the door, you are ethically obliged to stay and help. Anything else should be handed over safely unless you choose to stay late.

Yes, there is pressure and manipulation to do so, but nobody is going to physically block the door.
Said from the safety of not being an FY1/FY2 any longer...
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Etomidate
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Said from the safety of not being an FY1/FY2 any longer...
Why would that make any difference?
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asif007
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(Original post by Etomidate)
Nobody can “force you” to do anything. You’re a grown adult, not a naughty school child.

Junior doctors seem to have an indoctrinated state of learned helplessness straight from medical school.

You are contractually obliged to work your hours and no more. If a patient arrests as you’re walking out the door, you are ethically obliged to stay and help. Anything else should be handed over safely unless you choose to stay late.

Yes, there is pressure and manipulation to do so, but nobody is going to physically block the door.
I like this attitude, haha. I’ll do my best to follow this by the time I make it there.
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