NHS Junior Doctor Working hours – What TCS 2016 bring

Lately there has been a reshuffle of terms and conditions as TCS 2002 have moved to TCS 2016 and got implemented across England by mid 2017 (yeah we envy you lot in Wales, Ireland and Scotland!) , though, new contract has been applicable to new junior doctors  joining NHS  and those who were already in NHS by mid 2016, have been given protection till 2nd August 2022 , then new TCS will be implemented across the board.

Some bullet points about TCS 2016 , in addition, to the requirement for all trusts, to have an assigned role of guardian of working hours for junior doctor, are following:

  • Max average of 48 hours work per week  –  Max weekly average across a rota reference period (up to 26 weeks).
  • Max 72 hours work in any 7 consecutive calendar
  • 30 minute break for 5 hours work & a second 30 minute break for more than 9 hours (taken
    individually, or combined as close to the middle of
    the shift)

When it comes to Shifts duration and Rest:

  • Max 13 hour shift length Maximum individual shift length
  • Max 5 consecutive long shifts, at least 48 hours rest on conclusion of the fifth shift ( a shift means longer than 10 hours here) when you finish before 11:00 PM
  • Max 4 consecutive long daytime/evening shifts,at least 48 hours rest on conclusion of the fourth shift (thats when you finish after 11:00 PM but before 2:00 AM)
  • Max 4 consecutive night shifts, at least 46 hours rest on conclusion of the third or fourth shift
  • Max 8 consecutive shifts , NOT CALLS i.e less than 10 hours i.e normal working day length   (except low intensity on-call), at least 48 hours rest on conclusion of the final shift
  • If your on-call on a Saturday & Sunday contains less than 3 hours of work and no more than 3 episodes of work per day, up to 12 consecutive shifts can be worked
  • At least 11 hours continuous rest betweenrostered shifts

When it comes to weekend work, please note following:

  • Max frequency of 1 in 2 weekends can be worked across the rota cycle (thing of note here is ACROSS ROTA CYCLE meaning upto 26 weeks block, so you can be asked to do conscecutive weekends as long as its 1 in 2 across your rotation when averaged)

Please refer to following links for details and exception report violations and get to know who is the guardian of safe working hours in your trust. hope this helps






International Medical Graduates in NHS & why there are so many ?

Looking at the way the world works nowadays, we are moving towards “quick-fix” trend, whereby , the old school style of doing things the proper way has given way in favour of getting stuff done quickly.

That’s how it has been for the medical education and training, western countries have long realised that, bringing in a fully trained doctor from a slightly underprivileged country incurs a fraction of the time, effort, resources and money needed to properly train a medical doctor at home.

All this has created a scenario where there is huge , continuous demand of qualified doctors all over the world in advanced economies or wealthier countries be it Middle eastern countries like Qatar or Emirates or western countries like United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia or Ireland.

Once medical graduates come out of their medical schools in countries such as Egypt, Sudan, Malaysia, china, India or Pakistan, many have an Ideal, a teacher or a well respected consultant they know, who has honed their skills and progressed their career in Europe or Americas, publishes in international journals, tells stories about how advanced west is in healthcare innovations etc and, hence they want to come here for advanced degree as well. The prime drivers are quest of career progression, international exposure, better life style and financial well being .

In addition to being a general advice to all the junior doctors in NHS , this blog is also going to be about how this journey looks and feels like from inside, stage by stage , step by step . Since author’s first hand experience is pertaining to HSE Ireland and NHS UK that’s where most of the focus of this blog is going to be. Goal is to not only share experiences and offer advice about lessons learnt, but also to interact with the readers about their personal experiences and thoughts. So here it begins …..