Government forced to sideline ‘shambolic’ Medical Training Applications Service recruitment system for junior doctors after flawed forms fiasco and online failures

The controversial system used to match junior doctors to specialist training posts – the Medical Training Application Service (MTAS) – has been abandoned by the government.

Health secretary Patricia Hewitt said that after the first round of recruitment, the system would only fulfill a monitoring role this year.

Hewitt said in a written statement: “Given the continuing concerns of junior doctors about MTAS, the system will not be used for matching candidates to training posts, but will continue to be used for national monitoring.”

Instead, the recruitment process will be CV-based, with junior doctors applying to individual deaneries who oversee training at a local level.

Doctors had complained the system was flawed, with many complaining about a lack of posts, poorly designed recruitment forms and technical failures with the online application system.

Dr Andrew Rowland, vice chairman of the BMA Junior Doctors Committee, said: “The Department of Health has at last seen sense and effectively abandoned the unfair, discredited, and shambolic MTAS system.

“Junior doctors have suffered blow after blow because of the government’s terrible handling of these reforms. They have had to go through months of anxiety about their NHS careers, and on top of that, have potentially had their personal details exposed on the MTAS website.”

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