The quality of training received by junior doctors is negatively impacted when they are given responsibility for out-of-hours care provision.
This is among the conclusions of a report conducted by Professor Sir John Temple on the impact of the European Working Time Directive on the training of healthcare professionals.
According to the study, despite an increase of more than 60 per cent in the number of available consultants during the last decade, junior doctors are still being heavily relied upon to provide out-of-hours care in hospitals.
Providing this service can damage the quality of training they receive, Professor Temple said.
A spokesman for the British Medical Association commented on the study: "Professor Sir John Temple makes it clear that junior doctors can be trained under the 48 hour limit prescribed by the European Working Time Directive."
It is "crucial" that the healthcare industry works towards implementing a consultant-delivered service, the representative added.