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Recruitment to Medical Training

Volume 464: debated on Monday 8 October 2007

Sir John Tooke announced the results of his inquiry into Modernising Medical Careers (MMC) this morning. We would like to thank Sir John Tooke and his review group for investing so much time and expertise in providing recommendations for the future of medical training for 2009 and beyond. We will consider Sir John’s findings carefully.

Recruitment to Medical Training in 2008

Following a discussion document and feedback from stakeholders, the new MMC programme board, whose members include the British Medical Association, the Academy of Royal Colleges and NHS Employers, has recommended changes to junior doctor training and recruitment for 2008. We have accepted its recommendations which are as follows:

recruitment and selection will be run by local processes that are very similar to the second round of recruitment this year and recruitment in previous years. It will be run locally by deaneries, who will advertise for their own posts and use their own application forms, shortlisting criteria and scoring systems. They will also interview, select, and make offers;

a short set of national principles, similar to those used for the second round of recruitment this year, will provide a policy framework for the local processes of recruitment in 2008;

recruitment for a number of specialties will be run nationally where there are well-tested, successful national processes of recruitment. These include General Practice and Obstetrics and Gynaecology;

there will be more than one entry point into speciality training each year with start dates at different points throughout the year;

there will not be a national IT system for applications to training for hospital specialities in 2008. Work will continue on developing the national IT system for use in 2009. National IT systems will continue to be used for the Foundation Programme and GP recruitment; and

there will be pilots of selection centres and invigilated, machine markable tests for shortlisting for entry level posts (Specialist Training Level 1).

Recruitment to Medical Training in 2007.

The previously announced employment guarantee covers the period 1 August to 31 October while doctors continue to compete for posts in round 2 of this year’s recruitment. There are about 1,000 additional training posts being created for the end of round 2 as a transitional safety net for junior doctors. The transitional training posts will be filled in November and December. We have therefore decided to extend the employment guarantee to 31 December 2007, when recruitment to the transition training posts will have been completed.

MTAS Security Investigation

Following the security breach on 25 April further investigations have indicated that the personal data were accessed by a user accessing the information through the Imperial College London network. The Department understood that a continuing police investigation would result in serious invasive actions into Channel 4 and Imperial College and constitute a disproportionate response. The college has volunteered its complete co-operation in the matter. It has been supplied with the evidence and is carrying out its own investigations into the conduct of the user. The college has assured the Department that it is treating this as a serious issue and dealing with it in a proportionate and appropriate manner. Consequently, the police are taking no further action at this time.

International Medical Graduates

A consultation to help formulate policy on the place of international medical graduates (IMGs) in recruitment to specialist training for 2008 has been launched today. The consultation has been placed in the Library.