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27 Apr 2006 : Column 1306W—continued

Waiting Times

Susan Kramer: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people are waiting for operations in the boroughs of (a) Richmond upon Thames and (b) Kingston upon Thames; and if she will make a statement. [65068]

Jane Kennedy: Waiting list data are collected at national health service trust and primary care trust (PCT) level. At the end of February 2006, Kingston PCT had 2,687 patients waiting for elective admission and Richmond and Twickenham PCT had 2,337 patients waiting.
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Working Time Directive

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the effect of the EU Working time directive on doctors' (a) overtime and (b) hours of work. [65940]

Mr. Byrne: The Government agreed to implement the European working time directive (WTD) as United Kingdom legislation to improve the health and safety and working lives of all employees in this country. The vast majority of staff groups have been covered by the 48-hour week since 1998. The Government negotiated
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an extension to the WTD for doctors in training to enable phased implementation from August 2004. There have been significant increases in staffing levels across all professional groups, grades and disciplines in recent years which has contributed to supporting implementation.

While implementation of the WTD is the responsibility of local national health service trusts the Department of Health in England worked with the health professions and NHS employers to provide joint guidance and invested an extra £46 million to support implementation, including 20 national pilots and the hospital at night project.