For anyone who wants to read the summary of the grounds for a judicial review by Remedy Uk:
A judicial review has been applied for in the Administrative Court between Legal Remedy (the Claimant) and the Secretary of State for Health (the Defendant). PMETB, CoPMED, the BMA and NACT have been named as interested parties.
Papers were lodged with the Administrative Court at the beginning of this week. On 27th April the Court issued an Order regarding expedition. It is estimated that the hearing will take 1.5 days with one day pre-reading, to be fixed on a date as soon as possible after 14 May 2007.
"1. This judicial review is the product of what can only be described as the catastrophic failure of the Medical Training Application Service (“MTAS”), created under the aegis and at the instance of the Department of Health. MTAS has been introduced as part of the Modernising Medical Careers (“MMC”) initiative, in which the specialist training of junior doctors is being radically altered. The focus of this judicial review is MTAS alone, but it must be seen in the context of MMC. At the heart of this case are those junior doctors who are: (a) applying to commence their specialist training this year; and (b) those who are part way through their training and as a result fall into the transitional period between the old system of specialist training and new system to be introduced by MMC. Throughout the UK, there are approximately 32,000 doctors (“the Affected Doctors”) affected by MTAS. At stake in the present proceedings, the Claimant contends, is the fairness/legality of appointments which will “make or break” the prospects of these numerous Affected Doctors in obtaining either long term or fixed term specialist training.
2. Regrettably, MTAS has been a comprehensive failure. The result has been a far-reaching loss of confidence, morale and faith by junior doctors and many consultants in the fairness of MTAS and the consequent integrity/fitness of the NHS. Much of this has been very publicly and vociferously articulated in the general and specialist press and by representative bodies.
3. This mounting pressure forced the Department of Health to convene and appoint a Review Group. Yet even the actions of the Review Group have prompted further acrimony. The Claimant believes that Modified MTAS (and the Decision leading to it) is so unfair as a whole as to amount to an abuse of power. Such a conclusion is supported by four key features of Modified MTAS (each of which is, Legal RemedyUK believe, unlawful in its own right):
(1) The decision of the Review Group has changed the basic architecture of the MTAS scheme half way through the process, in particular ditching the four promised preferences in favour of one guaranteed interview. The changes made do not merely address the shortcomings of the old system in an even handed fashion.
(2) Secondly, the fundamental changes made by the Decision and Modified MTAS have been introduced on an ad hoc basis without any meaningful attempt to consult the Affected Doctors, other than discussion with the BMA, Deaneries and Royal College representatives.
(3) Thirdly, Modified MTAS continues to rely, in modified form, upon the Interview Allocations generated by the old MTAS System (now abandoned), i.e. upon MTAS’s defective decisions as to who should be interviewed. This leads to a basic inequality of treatment and/or lack of consistency.
(4) Finally, Modified MTAS continues to rely upon defective Round 1 Interviews conducted before the Review Group met, which will differ substantially in rigour from the “New Round 1 Interviews”
4. The Claimant contends that each of these factors, and equally their combination, makes the adoption of the Modified MTAS so unfair as to be an abuse of power. If this Court it is so satisfied, then the Claimant suggests that the importance of the issues at stake (namely, the future careers of the Affected Doctors, the credibility of the NHS and its future specialists, public and professional trust in the Department) demand that this Court grant meaningful relief."