Problems with the 2008 junior doctor recruitment process in England have already started to emerge, the British Medical Association (BMA) said yesterday.
Last week it alerted the Department of Health to the fact that many NHS trusts block external emails, preventing junior doctors from being notified of job offers.
Yesterday it was investigating reports that some doctors in the North of England are being refused application forms, even though posts are still open to applications. The BMA has written to the Conference of Postgraduate Medical Education Deaneries raising the issue.
Mr Ram Moorthy, chairman of the BMA Junior Doctors Committee, said:
“This is outrageous. Doctors are being denied vital career opportunities. It’s utterly bizarre to be told you can’t have an application form for a job before the deadline has passed. We’re concerned that this is a cynical attempt to reduce numbers of applications.”
Last Monday, the BMA wrote to the Department of Health and the Modernising Medical Careers Programme Board, raising concerns that many junior doctors would not find out they had been offered jobs because their trusts block access to popular email providers.
The Department of Health agreed to write to NHS trusts, but many doctors have reported to the BMA that their trusts are still blocking access. Meanwhile the MMC Programme Board for England has notified all Deaneries, at the request of the BMA, who will take the matter up directly through local HR networks.
Mr Moorthy added:
“Junior doctors need to be able to check their e-mail regularly, especially when their careers depend on it. We hope trusts will show some understanding and remove blocks on access. The artificially short limits on advertising and accepting jobs are causing major concerns that the process this year will again be unfair.”