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Doctor training scheme criticised


8 January, 2008  

A new report into last year’s junior doctor training fiasco has called for the Government to be stripped of responsibility for the system.

Professor Sir John Tooke is due to publish his final report into the chaos that led thousands of doctors to protest about the scheme.

The Times said that he will recommend that money to train the next generation of doctors should be ring-fenced and taken out of Department of Health (DH) control.

And, according to the newspaper, he wants a new body called NHS Medical Education England to be established to manage postgraduate medical training.

Sir John’s Independent Inquiry into Modernising Medical Careers (MMC) was set up by then-Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt last May as she faced calls to quit over the chaos.

MMC is designed to cut the number of years it takes for junior doctors to reach consultant level from about 14 years to 11.

But the online Medical Training Application Service (MTAS) – part of MMC – was dropped by ministers after controversy raged over the system.

Last year 32,649 applicants competed for 23,247 specialist training posts.

Medics complained that application forms were badly worded and resulted in many of the best candidates not being granted interviews.

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