The report reveals enormous variation in working practices in the 112 National Health Service hospital trusts in the survey, comprising 1,500 consultants and 2,000 junior doctors. In a quarter of teams, junior doctors at senior house officer grade were always supervised in theatre. But in another quarter they operated alone at 40 per cent or more of the operations. It also found that in one in three medical and surgical departments junior doctors worked more than the 56 hours allowed under the Government's "new deal".
One in ten junior doctors say that they are forced to do tasks beyond their abilities at least once a week, according to a report by the Audit Commission on hospital medical staffing. Almost a third saw new patients in outpatient clinics without supervision, and 13 per cent said they got no feedback from their consultants on their work in clinics. Juniors were least likely to be supervised during emergency operations out-of-hours and at weekends.