Working at night is an essential part of providing a comprehensive
24-hour service to patients in the NHS. However, night work requires
doctors to remain awake and alert when physiologically programmed to
be asleep. Changes to working patterns as a result of implementing the
European Working Time Directive (EWTD) also mean that most junior doctors now work full 11- to 13-hour night shifts, rather than on-call, as an integral part of their rotas. On these occasions, junior doctors can expect to stay awake and working throughout the entire night.
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