Page last updated at 16:29 GMT, Monday, 31 January 2011

Ten Minute Rule Bill

A Tory backbencher has claimed that restrictions on doctors' working hours is endangering patients' safety.

On 1 February 2011, Charlotte Leslie said the European Union working time directive meant that medics were put on shift patterns that left patients facing "a seemingly never-ending conveyor belt of doctors".

She called for doctors to be given the same opt-outs already available to police and the Armed Forces to work longer hours when needed.

Ms Leslie said: "From the doctors' point of view there's a patient pass-the-parcel."

Presenting her NHS Acute Medical and Surgical Services Bill, Ms Leslie claimed doctors have been "raising the alarm" about the directive.

She said the rotas demanded were "clinically risky" and posed problems for the future, adding: "It does not take a genius to work out that if the trainees are not getting the hours in, they can't get the training they need.

"You have got more exhausted doctors getting less training. That is madness."

The bill was given an unopposed first reading but stands little chance of becoming law without government support.

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