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Details of funding opportunities from the Office of the Third Sector are promoted via the Office of the Third Sector website (www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/third_ sector), a regular newsletter to stakeholders and through a number of local and national third sector networks.

Working Time Directive

Question

Asked by Baroness Finlay of Llandaff

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): Our overall aim is to ensure that, consistent with patient safety, the maximum number of services are supported to achieve compliance by 1 August.

The National Health Service (NHS) is compliant with the exception of junior doctors in training. Two-thirds of junior doctors are already working a 48-hour week averaged over 26 weeks. There will be a small number of 24-hour immediate care services, supra-specialist services and units in rural and isolated areas that may need support beyond 1 August. These services formed the basis of the United Kingdom's notification of derogation to the European Commission in January and now inform the statutory instrument that will be laid in Parliament on 24 June 2009. Information will be published in due course.

Derogation means that the directive allows a possible 52-hour week until 2011 (exceptionally until 2012) in services that may require more time to achieve the average 48-hour week. This flexibility represents good NHS management.


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