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HOSPITAL TRUST PLANS FOR FAILURE OF DOCTORS JOBS SCHEME

24-04-2007

On the day that hundreds of doctors from around the UK are lobbying parliament over the government’s shambolic new recruitment scheme for junior doctors, The Stirrer can reveal that one hospital Trust in the Midlands has prepared a contingency plan in case the whole thing falls apart.

The failures of the Modernising Medical Careers scheme have been well chronicled on this site and elsewhere - but now they are being taken so seriously that the Trust (which for now must remain anonymous) is preparing for the possibility that it could be left without enough trained staff in the autumn.

One doctor who is part of the team working on the plan told us: “All the consultants and the managers in our Trust are calling for the scrapping of the system, but the government’s afraid to do it. We’re being sacrificed so they can save face.”

At least 500 medics are expected at Westminster tomorrow, among them Dr David Nicholl a neurologist, at City Hospital in Birmingham, and a blogger on The Stirrer.

He’ll be calling on Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt to resign for misleading parliament over the number of posts available under the new Modernising Medical Careers scheme (MMC).

He said: “If I saw a junior doctor using figures in the same way as she does, he’d be out on his ear.”

Figures first revealed on The Stirrer and now backed by the British Medical Association suggest there will only be 18,500 applicants for 34,000 jobs - leaving more than 15,000 would-be consultants without the next step on their career path.

Even the official estimates recognise that at least 10,000 medics trained at vast taxpayers expense will be without confirmed appointments.

Some of these will be able to become GP’s, others will find work elsewhere in the NHS, but hundreds - possibly thousands - of these highly skilled individuals face unemployment.

We reported on Friday (see the report here) and Saturday (see the report here) that one solution proposed by the Department of Health was to send the medics to work for nothing overseas.

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