An East Kilbride dad has hit out at government secrecy after crucial parts of a report into doctors’ working hours were blanked out.

Brian Connelly’s daughter Lauren, a junior doctor, died after a car crash in 2011 while driving home from Inverclyde Royal Hospital where she had been working long shifts.

Lauren started her job at Inverclyde Royal in the summer of 2011 with a roster of 90 hours over just 10 days.

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He is calling for junior doctors to work a maximum 48 hours in any given week - and health boards should not be able to circumvent this by averaging out the number of hours a doctor works per week over a six-month period.

Junior doctors in some Scottish hospitals revealed they worked more than 87 hours in a week.

In 2018 the Scottish Government commissioned an expert working group to examine how it could implement a 48-hour working week for hospital doctors.

Brian wrote four times requesting a copy. When that failed, he managed to obtain a copy under Freedom of Information laws, but found there were 37 redactions in the 21-page report.

He said: “We are being forbidden to see in full a report that examines junior doctors’ dangerously long hours and provides a potential remedy and time scales for its implementation.

"I have been sent another copy of the report but all the useful information still does not appear. The Scottish government seems determined to not publish the report. I have appealed to the Information Commissioner by letter and await his decision.”

Brian appealed the FoI, asking to see an unredacted version and has now received another copy of the report, still with 29 redactions, and still with the executive summary and recommendations blanked out.

Brian says the report was completed in January last year and, since then, he has written to Scottish Health Secretary Jeane Freeman four times asking to see a copy.


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The report contains passages describing how working hours and rotas impact doctors’ fatigue and safety, and how they also affect patient safety and medical outcomes.

The Scottish Government ­originally justified the redactions, saying it was not in the public interest to publish the information.

After Brian appealed, Scottish Government business manager Susan Curran agreed this ruling did not apply to all the redacted material.

However, she also decided a second reason for denying a full FoI release - that doing so might deter medical and other professionals from giving evidence to future studies - did apply.

The Scottish Government said: “We handle FOI requests in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2002. We only apply redactions to information where these are appropriate and are in line with the law.”