There is to be a long-term review of the heavily criticised Modernising Medical Careers system used to appoint junior doctors into training posts.
The government has announced an independent panel will consider what changes need to be made to the programme in time for next year.
The majority of concerns this year centred on the online application process – Medical Training Application Service – that candidates had to use.
Doctors had complained the best candidates missed out on interviews and there were massive problems with the system.
Health secretary Patricia Hewitt, who has already apologised for the problems this year, said this latest review was intended to enable the NHS to “apply the lessons we have learned to a wider context”.
Dr Jo Hilborne, chairman of the BMA Junior Doctors Committee, said the government’s handling of training reforms had been “appalling”.
The association estimates there are 34,250 doctors applying for just 18,500 training posts in the UK.
“The BMA has been warning for years that Modernising Medical Careers was being rushed in too quickly, to the detriment of patient care. It’s depressing that it’s taken a disaster on this scale for them to listen.”