News

21.02.18

Legal battle over junior doctor breaks could have ‘dramatic’ consequences for NHS

A junior doctor is taking the trust it is employed by to court for allegedly not giving young medics enough rest, and potentially putting patient safety at risk.

The doctor, Dr Sarah Hallett, argues that the Royal Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation should ensure that junior medics receive a half an hour break for every four hours they work.

She is bringing the case to court on behalf of 20 other doctors who trained with her in Derby.

If she is successful, Royal Derby Hospitals may be facing a bill of £250,000 to pay for the 21 medics missed breaks over an eight-month period, according to the Derby Telegraph.

In court, NHS Barrister Richard Leiper QC warned that Dr Hallett’s case could have a considerable negative impact on the whole NHS as well as the Derby trust if other junior doctors were to follow suit and launch similar cases.

 “The potential cost to the trust, let alone to the NHS as a whole, would be dramatic,” he stated.

But John Cavanagh QC, representing Dr Hallett, who is also chair of the BMA’s Junior Doctor Committee, said the case was of “general public importance” and was “of significance across the NHS.”

He also said his client’s argument was not just based on money, but also centred around protecting patients.

A spokesperson for the Derby Teaching Hospitals Trust told NHE: “The trust puts patient safety as its top priority.

“This trial is simply about how Derby Teaching Hospitals monitored junior doctors working hours back in 2013. The approach we took mirrors that taken by a significant proportion of NHS trusts up and down the country. No further comment can be made until the conclusion of this test case.”

Comments

Shankar Kashyap   21/02/2018 at 13:14

Well done Dr Hallett. It is time that the doctors did something about Victorian work practices in Medicine. The government/GMC/people expect the doctors to work at 110% and it is time they are treated the same. No one comes to a doctors aid when things go wrong - Dr Bawa-Garba's case - when a tired doctor makes a mistake. It is time the doctors joined hands and fight for their rights. I do hope the judge in this case is brave enough to be fair to the Doctors.

Add your comment

 

national health executive tv

more videos >

latest news

View all News

comment

Staying curious with the Shadow Board Programme

20/03/2019Staying curious with the Shadow Board Programme

Kirstie Stott, director of The Inspiring Leaders Network, discusses organis... more >
Fiction as Therapy

20/03/2019Fiction as Therapy

Elaine Bousfield of ZunTold Publishing – a press specialising in fict... more >

editor's comment

25/09/2017A hotbed of innovation

This edition of NHE comes hot on the heels of this year’s NHS Expo which, once again, proved to be a huge success at Manchester Central. A number of announcements were made during the event, with the health secretary naming the second wave of NHS digital pioneers, or ‘fast followers’, which follow the initial global digital exemplars who were revealed at the same show 12 months earlier.  Jeremy Hunt also stated that by the end of 2018 – the 70th birthday... read more >

last word

Hard to be optimistic

Hard to be optimistic

Rachel Power, chief executive of the Patients Association, warns that we must be realistic about the very real effects of continued underfunding across the health service. It’s now beyond more > more last word articles >

interviews

How can winter pressures be dealt with? Introduce a National Social Care Service, RCP president suggests

24/10/2018How can winter pressures be dealt with? Introduce a National Social Care Service, RCP president suggests

A dedicated national social care service could be a potential solution to s... more >

the scalpel's daily blog

Personal Health Budgets: empowering individuals

20/03/2019Personal Health Budgets: empowering individuals

Jon Baker, PHBChoices director at NHS Shared Business Services (NHS SBS) believes that the extension of Personal Health Budgets (PHBs) is a great opportunity for clinical comm... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >

healthcare events

events calendar

back

March 2019

forward
mon tue wed thu fri sat sun
25 26 27 28 1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

featured articles

View all News