Patients are at risk in hospitals where junior doctors working at night do not have access to on-call rooms, doctors' leaders are warning.

Writing in BMA News this week, BMA junior doctors committee joint deputy chairman Andrew Rowland highlights increasing evidence that employees working night duties need rest for the safety of people for whom they are responsible, as well as their own safety.

He says: 'The removal of on-call rooms cannot continue, and trusts that have removed them must re-evaluate this decision.

'Sleepiness is known to be associated with memory deficit and impaired performance…Sustained wakefulness results in a decline in performance similar to breaching the legal blood alcohol limit for driving in the UK.'

BMA News, the membership magazine of the British Medical Association


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