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Junior Doctors: Training

Volume 461: debated on Thursday 21 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many posts were available for junior doctors through the Medical Training Application System (MTAS) in round one; how many applicants for these posts there were; whether there were any new training posts in round two; and how many applicants per training post there were for those posts available through MTAS; (134104)

(2) when she will answer question 134104, tabled by the hon. Member for Yeovil on 24 April 2007, on the Medical Training Application Service.

The number of posts available for the 2007 recruitment process is in the following table.

Posts on MTAS

Run through




Round one posts not on MTAS added after 19 April1

Estimated GP posts filled outside MTAS

New run through programmes in Round 2

Estimated new FTSTAs and GP posts in Round 21

Overall total of training posts in 20072





















Across the UK 34,389 candidates submitted applications on Medical Training Application Service (MTAS) during the first recruitment round and made 127,948 applications. Of these 32,6003 applicants made at least one eligible application and a total of 118,6003 eligible applications are recorded on the MTAS system. Of the eligible applicants 29,6003 were already working in training or non-training posts in the national health service.

The MTAS data provide the number of applications per post not applicants per post. Based on the MTAS extract dated 19 April there were 6.2 applications per post.

1 Taken from a survey of English deaneries on 14 June. Figure only includes the posts in England and not those in the devolved Administrations because the survey only covered English deaneries. We expect there to be additional new posts in the devolved Administrations.

2 As set out in note 1, the United Kingdom total does not include the new Round 2 posts in the devolved Administrations.

3 This figure is an estimate derived by inference from the data provided by applicants on the MTAS system.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what information has been made public by (a) her and (b) Ministers in her Department and (c) other representatives on (i) matching algorithms and (ii) other matters relating to Medical Training Application Service and Modernising Medical Careers that were not included in (A) her Written Statement of 15 May and (B) her response to the Urgent Question on 16 May; and if she will make a statement. (138712)

The applicant’s guide, which was first published on 30 November 2006, provided detailed information about the recruitment process, including how applicants would be matched to posts. Since the Modernising Medical Careers (MMC) Review began, a series of communications has been sent to applicants and recruitment teams and the applicant's guide has been revised. All of this information is available on the MMC website at

Further background and information on the decision not to proceed with designing an algorithm to match applicants to posts was included in the Department’s witness statements to the Judicial Review brought by Remedy UK. Copies of these two statements have been placed in the Library.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate she made of the cost of administering each on-line job application by a junior doctor in the latest period for which figures are available. (140987)

The costs of administering junior doctor applications are not collected centrally. Processing costs will vary depending on local deanery arrangements. On-line application enables deaneries to reduce advertising, printing and distribution costs.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many applicants to the Medical Training Application Service were from St. Albans constituency. (142694)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what distinction was made between applicants from outside the EU and EU citizens by the Medical Training Application Service. (143439)

All applicants in the current recruitment to specialty training must meet the eligibility requirements that applied on 5 February 2007, regardless of their nationality. Applicants who meet the eligibility requirements who are from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) will be considered on the same basis as United Kingdom and EEA applicants unless they require a work permit.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment she has made of the clarity of advice on requirement of the Home Office Passport Stamp in the applicants’ guide of January 2007 for the Medical Training Application Service; why the date of 5 February was chosen; whether potential delays in obtaining the stamp were taken into account; and if she will change the requirement to 1 August; (144397)

(2) whether the applicants’ guide for the Medical Training Application Service refers to migrant status and the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme;

(3) whether (a) her Department and (b) the Postgraduate Medical Education and Training Board can vary the 5 February deadline for the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme status passport stamp.

The application form made clear that evidence of immigration status should include an appropriately stamped passport.

To ensure consistency in the assessment of applications it was agreed that eligibility criteria for applications to specialty training had to be met on the final date of application, 5 February. This included the assessment of immigration status. To change this date or allow exceptions to it would be impractical and unfair.

The current applicants’ guide, available on the Modernising Medical Careers website, is clear that immigration status will be assessed as of the 5 February 2007.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the Office of Government Commerce carried out a Gateway Review of the Medical Training Application Service. (144525)

No. However Medical Training Application Service was included in the Modernising Medical Careers Health Gateway programme review in September 2006.