Patients are being put at risk because hospital consultants are refusing to work in the evenings and at weekends, a damning report has found.
Trainee doctors are being left alone with seriously-ill patients out of hours because highly-paid experienced older staff want to clock off at 6pm.
A patient in hospital overnight is 15 times more likely to be under the care of a junior doctor than a consultant, the study found.
The news comes after David Cameron yesterday announced a public inquiry will be held into the deaths of hundreds of patients at Stafford hospital, overturning Labour's decision to investigate behind closed doors.
As many as 1,200 patients may have died between 2005 and 2008 because of the appalling standards.
The report on junior doctors also found that only ten or 15 casualty departments in England had staffing levels which allowed them to genuinely run a 24-hour service at consultant level.
It examined the impact of the European Working Time Directive, which cut the maximum number of hours doctors could work to 48 last year.
It concluded that the directive had compounded the problem of consultants not working unsociable hours.
Professor Sir John, the author of the report, said patients were gradually becoming more aware that doctors working out of hours in hospitals were trainees because of failings in the system.
2010-06-17 23:40 编辑：kuaileyingyu