Under the European Working Time Directive (EWTD), doctors have had their working hours incrementally decreased, and by August 2009 their hours were reduced to a maximum of 48 per week, raising widespread debate about the implications for the training of doctors.
Medical Education England (MEE), an Independent Advisory Non-Departmental Public Body, was commissioned by the Secretary of State for Health to conduct a review into the impact of the reduced hours on the training of doctors, dentists, pharmacists and healthcare scientists in response to these concerns.
The challenge was to produce clear, realistic recommendations about how the NHS can continue to produce well-trained and safe professionals in a rapidly changing environment.
PA Consulting Group was appointed to provide dedicated support to Professor Sir John Temple, the Independent Chair of the Review to facilitate the review and draft the final report.
PA engaged with over 140 professional bodies, organisations and individuals, with often widely disparate views, to gather opinion and insight on this controversial topic.
The team collated information and in the absence of hard evidence, analysed and tested the information and findings, working closely with Professor Sir John, the MEE team and medical education experts to deliver the final report to the Secretary of State.
The report provides a compelling vision of healthcare training which was commended by MEE Board Members for its clarity and relevance and received broad partner support.
Once implemented, the changes recommended will be fundamental in creating a health system that can ensure high quality training and safer healthcare for future generations.