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Health: Junior Doctors

Volume 694: debated on Thursday 26 July 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What steps they are taking to ensure that the application forms for round 1 recruitment to medical specialty training posts are not used in round 2 following an announcement from the previous Secretary of State for Health that round 2 recruitment would be based on a revised short-listing and interview process, which will include a structured curriculum vitae. [HL4650]

The process for round 2 is being managed locally in line with the principles recommended by the review group and agreed by Ministers. These principles state that:

“The [application] form will be based on previously used application forms which have been tried and tested”.

This means that deaneries were able to use application forms from previous years. Structured curriculum-vitae-based portfolios will be used in the interviews.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What consideration they will give to an inter-deanery transfer scheme which is sufficiently flexible to allow junior doctors to move region. [HL4651]

On 18 July, the department announced to applicants a new job transfer scheme. This scheme will help doctors who have had one offer but would like to transfer to another deanery where they have been deemed appointable. Further information can be found on the Modernising Medical Careers website at www.mmc.nhs.uk

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How many non-training medical jobs will be available to applicants to medical specialty training who have been unsuccessful after round 2. [HL4655]

The information requested is not collected centrally as the number of non-training medical jobs available varies from day to day.

For those appointable doctors who are not successful at the end of round 2, we have prepared an extra package of support which includes:

about 1,000 extra one-year and GP training posts;

access to career information via local deaneries;

a careers website for junior doctors; and

educational grants.

In this way, any junior doctor who has been judged to be appointable by an interview panel of senior doctors will have access to a training or educational opportunity next year.

In addition, we are currently in discussions with foundation programme directors and deans to see what options might be available for foundation programme doctors who complete the programme but are unsuccessful in securing specialty training posts.

We are also opening up discussions with the British Medical Association, the Academy of Royal Colleges and other representatives of the medical profession to discuss whether there is any risk that high academic achievers may be missed by the end of the recruitment process and if so how we can avoid that happening.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they anticipate that some National Health Service trusts may have junior doctor training posts unfilled by 1 August; and, if so, what steps they are taking to ensure that posts are filled. [HL4695]

Eighty-five per cent of junior doctor training posts will be filled by 1 August. This means that National Health Service hospitals should have the junior doctors they need in post to ensure that services run smoothly around the annual changeover of junior doctors in early August.

However, as not all training posts will be filled in August, each strategic health authority (SHA) has put a plan in place to minimise any risks. The SHAs will be managing the process and will work with trusts to ensure any potential gaps are adequately filled in August.

Where trusts face particular challenges in filling posts, they will do so through a combination of locums and accelerated recruitment under round 2 and recruiting to trust grade service posts.

The department policy to ensure that all applicants who are in substantive NHS employment will continue to have employment while they progress through the next round will also help to cover any gaps in August.