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J R Coll Physicians Lond. 1996 May-Jun;30(3):213-4.

The junior doctor handover: current practices and future expectations.

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Department of Medicine for Elderly People, Queen Alexandra Hospital, Cosham, Hampshire.


Restructuring junior doctors' patterns of work has led to several changes, including the increasing implementation of shift and partial-shift rotas. These changes heighten the necessity for good communication between the doctors responsible at different times for the patients. We sent a questionnaire to all junior doctors in two district general hospitals; the results showed that existing handover systems are frequently not as good as doctors would wish. In our opinion, the lack of advice and guidance on the structure of handover has impeded good practice, and a standard of professional practice needs to be set. Opportunities exist within the NHS to utilise information systems to obtain the necessary information and to improve the format of the handover.

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