My name is Brian Connelly. I’m 67 and retired. I don’t have any particular expertise in blogging but I do have a story to tell. I would also like you to support my campaign to make junior doctors’ working hours safe.
My daughter Lauren began work as a junior doctor in August 2011 at Inverclyde Royal Hospital in Greenock. She died in a road traffic accident on Saturday 17th September, 10 days before her 24th birthday, driving home after a 12-hour nightshift. After conducting their investigations, police told us they believed she may have fallen asleep while driving home. Thankfully, no-one else was involved or injured in the accident.
During her short career as a junior doctor, Lauren had become increasingly tired. Her shift rota contained periods when she worked for 10 and 12 days in succession, working in excess of 100 hours each time. This without a weekend or full day rest between shifts. Before starting nightshift on Friday, she had already worked Monday to Thursday dayshifts, 9 to 5. She was scheduled to work 7 continuous nightshifts and would have worked 117.5 hours on 12 days without a full day’s break had she completed this run of shifts.
I cannot prove it but I firmly believe that a contributory factor towards her death was fatigue caused by the hours she worked as a junior doctor.