Consultant Contract England Northern Ireland Wales

Last updated:

Shift and resident working - guidance for consultants

Most consultants work for employers whose core business is to provide 24/7 specialist health care for their local populations, and consultants have a contractual responsibility to make certain that mechanisms exist to diagnose and manage new patients, and continue care for existing patients, during the entire 24 hour period.

The expert knowledge, care and leadership skills of consultants are clearly backed by strong evidence of patient benefit. Most consultants take part in on call rotas. Consultants typically work from home while on call, with other grades of doctor being resident in the hospital.

This guidance gives advice on the contractual and pragmatic position when you or your employers propose that you work as a resident consultant, as well as model agreements that can be adapted for use in the following scenarios:

  • where consultants are asked to work a shift or resident period at short notice;
  • where consultants are asked to carry out elective (non-emergency) work during premium time periods.

Read the shift and resident working guidance