Wednesday, 28 February 2007

why our best young doctors may leave the country...

The government has recently introduced a new computerised system to help find specialist "junior" doctors their next job. This has been a c*ck up of monumental proportions and many of our best young doctors are being thrown out on the streets.

10 years ago when my husband and his cohort were applying for jobs the jobs were advertised and they applied for them. Good doctors with good CVs normally got good jobs.

The "MTAS" automatically processes a doctors CV and then the computer decides whether you are given an interview. MTAS is specifically designed so that newer doctors are "not disadvantaged" i.e. it takes no account of experience. Doctors are only allowed to apply 4 times. No advice or councilling or follow up is offered. My grass roots contacts tell me that a whole generation of brilliant doctors are set to leave the country. This is outrageous and MPs should act.

The worst thing is that Patricia Hewitt MP, the Secretary of State for Health is apparently refusing to meet with any of her own constituents if they work for the Health Service. You can see all the comments here and here.

If you scroll down a lot you find this entry...

"Interesting that Ms Hewitt is my MP.
When applying to see her at her weekly surgery i was asked and subsequently informed appointments would not be made with NHS staff(i am a surgeon).
.... with over 5 years postgraduate experience and my surgical RC membership....and no MTAS interview."

In laymans terms this means that this doctor is a high flyer - a Member of the Royal College of Surgeons. He has no job and no MP prepared to represent him.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nice to see that some politicians are starting to realise what is happening, but what can we do about it?
I am not a medic but have very close friends that are & are totally devastated by what has happened. I koow of at least 5 very good doctors who have already put the balls in motion to leave the country.
Any advice on what to do to get this into the public eye?

Louise Bagshawe said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ed Clarke said...

Not only will all the money that the taxpayer has invested in the doctors' training be sent overseas, but when the NHS inevitably runs out of doctors we will have to import foreign ones!

10/10 for competence from New Labour.

TomTom said...

This is quite a good Blog Vicky - good themes - clear layout. Good !

Vicky Ford said...

Dear anonymous
I too am not a doctor but have many close friends who are. I am doing all I can to put this in the public eye ... and will continue to do so.
I would love to talk to your doctor friends? They can contact me on vford@btinternet.com

Vicky

Machiavelli's Understudy said...

Why does 'cock up' have an asterisk in it?

Miles Bannister said...

Vicky---Very well done and very many thanks for raising this matter. I am a medical student who will have to apply through a similar scheme for my FY1 jobs-this MTAS nightmare gives little hope. I'm also a Conservative and have the dubious pleasure of having Hewitt as my MP. Fantastic to see a candidate with a decent bit of insight into the medical world-I'll make sure I come over to leaflet for you in the constituency that you will be selected for.

Yih said...

Dear Vicky,

Congratulations a wonderful piece. I am a traineed surgeon (SHO - Senior House Officer) who has had to endure MTAS as well. I have been fortunate enough to be offered interviews, but feel desperately for my peers and colleagues who have been cut down unfairly by an unjust system of selection that is devoid of meritocracy.

If you are interested in picking up the stories (many of them heart-breaking), may I direct you to www.doctors.net.uk and www.remedyuk.org

Once again, thank you for helping to highlight our plight. Doctors have had a lot of bad press under this government, but this is frankly the last straw for many of us - I know at least 10 of my current colleagues are leaving the country or the profession completely.

R.Symonds said...

May I suggest you support our EDM 737 'Junior Doctors Training' and visit www.remedyuk.org. Come along for the demo 17th March 11am Royal College of Physicians!

Ats said...

I am overseas doctor who came to uk to persue my training in paediatrics and have sucessfully completed 3yrs of SHO training in this country. I meet all the criteria's as specified in the person specification for the new ST applications but unfortunately i have not been shortlisted.It makes me feel that i am no more needed by the NHS and will soon have to leave the country.In short my career is ruined and will have to look for alternatives.

James Deane said...

I am a programme Director and can vouch for many of the stories of applicants as true.

This is a shambles, but even if heads such as Patsy Halfwitts were to roll the damage is done, and we will lose many talented staff.

On the application for my surgical speciality there was no question about surgical ability, though had the usual one on breaking bad news.

In the future surgeons are going to be able to explain their complications better...

I am embarrassed to be part of it all.

Dr Michelle Tempest said...

Vicky, thanks for the post. The medical world has been completely turned upside down by the mess up in the unaccountable job applications. The doctors applying for the lottery of jobs are the engine of the hospital. It has been a heart breaking week seeing my friends and valued colleagues being treated so badly. Many of them will be taking part in the march being organised on the 17th March. Michelle