Junior doctors - 48-hour maximum working week (without averaging): expert working group report

This report was led on by Professor Philip Cachia to consider the challenges of the maximum 48 hour working week and provide recommendations for the Scottish Government to consider.

Executive Summary

A 48 hour maximum working week (without averaging) for Junior Doctors in Scotland cannot be safely piloted or achieved within current service models and staffing establishments.

Achieving the 48 hour working week (without averaging) objective through service redesign and increased staffing would require long term (circa 10 years) planning and would have significant resource implications.

Before embarking on long-term service changes to implement a 48 hour maximum working week (without averaging) for Junior Doctors, the impact should be fully evaluated and costed. This could be achieved through a regional pilot study which should evaluate the impact on the whole system (including other staff groups) and whether or not there are benefits for Junior Doctors in terms of reducing fatigue and improving wellbeing.

There are evidence based interventions known to reduce fatigue and the associated patient and staff safety risks that could be implemented to consistent standards across Scotland.


Email: ceu@gov.scot

Back to top