A damning report into last year’s junior doctor jobs fiasco has recommended employers in the NHS play a greater role in medical training and recruitment.
MPs on the House of Commons Health Select Committee found that health service employers had too little input into the design and implementation of the controversial Modernising Medical Careers (MMC) programme.
The online recruitment system introduced last year was highly unpopular with both candidates and assessors, as well as being beset by technology problems.
Numbers of applicants were also much higher than expected, creating fierce competition for posts and inconsistent short-listing.
The system was eventually ditched by ministers, with responsibility for selection and training for this year’s recruitment round passed down to a range of local bodies.
Giving evidence to the committee earlier this year, Sian Thomas, deputy director of NHS Employers, confirmed that employing organisations had not been closely involved with the development of MMC, and were regarded as “peripheral”.
“I would say a great majority of the design decisions were made without employment input,” she said.
Among other criticisms, the committee said management of the reforms by the Department of Health (DoH) was “inept”, and the lack of co-ordination between the Home Office and DoH on restricting the number of overseas doctors was “woefully inadequate”.
David Grantham, head of programmes at NHS Employers, welcomed the report. “Employers are best placed to identify the numbers and types of medical specialists needed to deliver high-quality patient care in modern healthcare settings,” he said.