Junior doctor

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Juniors' working rules must remain, says BMA

Working time rules have led to significant improvements for junior doctors and must not be changed, the BMA said ahead of a parliamentary debate.

MPs were set to hold a backbench debate on Thursday about moves to revise the EWTD (European Working Time Directive).

The EWTD, which brought in a 48-hour average working week for junior doctors from August 2009, protects them from working dangerously long hours and improves patient safety, the BMA says in its briefing to MPs.

‘The BMA opposes further attempts to renegotiate the [EWTD] or to overturn rulings by the ECJ (European Court of Justice).

‘Previous attempts to change legislation have taken many years and securing significant improvements to junior doctor training within the parameters of the EWTD must remain the priority,’ the association says.

The BMA also stresses that it strongly supports the ECJ rulings that all time on-call, including inactive time, is considered work.