Hospital consultants in the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) will have to work more hours as trainee shifts are limited to 48 hours per week, say health officials.

A report in UK newspaper The Telegraph said that European Legislation that cuts junior doctors’ working hours to 48 hours a week from 1 August 2009 will put more experienced staff under greater pressure.

Senior officials at the NHS have said that they are not ready for the change as it will affect the quality of training and put patients at risk.

The Department of Health said that the implementation of he 48-hour week has reduced patient deaths.