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Anaesthesia. 2005 Sep;60(9):870-3.

Impact of the European Working Time Directive on the training of paediatric anaesthetists.

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Great Ormond Street Hoslital for Children, Great Ormond Street, London WC1N 3JH, UK.

Erratum in

  • Anaesthesia. 2005 Dec;60(12):1254. White, ML [corrected to White, MC].


The European Working Time Directive and the New Deal have decreased the number of hours worked by anaesthetic trainees. We implemented the Working Time Directive in May 2004 and evaluated the effect of its implementation on training. During two 6-month periods, one before and one after the change, we determined the number of operating lists undertaken by each Specialist Registrar in Anaesthesia. After implementation of the Working Time Directive, the mean number of lists performed by Specialist Registrars decreased from 24 to 21 lists per registrar per month, a 13% decrease. Exposure to subspecialty lists was the same in both periods, but this was at the expense of general lists and those in remote locations. We conclude that the Working Time Directive has had a measurable impact on the training of paediatric anaesthetists, but that the significance of this change for clinical practice has not yet been measured.

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