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In support of NCHDs’ strike over long working hours

16 Oct 2013

Photo by Image Broker / Rex Features

Dear Editor,

I am writing in support the NCHD campaign for safer working hours. The long shifts, stretching to three or four days, endured by my generation of doctors should not be revisited on younger colleagues.

The rosters for NCHDs in Emergency Medicine (EM) have long been compliant with the European Working Time Directive. The challenge lies in making non-EM specialties compliant.

A proportion of patients who attend at emergency departments (EDs) require review by another specialty. I am concerned that the response of those tasked with making specialty rosters compliant, is simply to strip service to patients in the ED, especially at night-times and weekends. Patients waiting in overcrowded EDs truly do not deserve this additional blow.

Can I ask that the Labour Relations Commission include in their decision, an instruction, that all proposed roster changes are interrogated to ensure that the care of patients waiting in EDs is not further delayed.

Emily O’Conor,


Consultant in Emergency Medicine,

Connolly Hospital,


16 October 2013

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