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Independents' Day

EU working time limits 'killing patients' claim surgeons

By Ian Quinn

Patients are dying as hospital services teeter on the brink of collapse following August's introduction of European Working Time Regulation (EWTR) 48 hour working limits, it has been claimed.

A survey by the Royal College of Surgeons says services are only being prevented from complete breakdown by doctors willing to covertly break the legislation to maintain care for patients.

Hundreds of hospital rotas are now urging the Government to allow them to break the legislation, with 62% of surgeons telling the survey they were already breaking the new code.

John Black, President of the Royal College of Surgeons said: ‘Throughout this affair the call from the Department of Health has been that this legislation is about making patients safer. We now have a clear message from the frontline that patient care is being made significantly less safe.'

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