Thursday, 17 May 2007

Astonishing DoH admissions in court

There have been some astonishing revelations from the high court today, this chunk is taken from the Remedy UK website:

"The legal team for the Secretary of State for Health presented a second witness statement by Mr Nick Greenfield from the Department of Health.

In it he states that the matching algorithm (that underpins the MTAS computer system) was not, and is not, functional or reliable.
Mr Greenfield states "The decision not to proceed with MTAS for matching candidates to training posts was taken as a result of recent security difficulties and the fact that the Defendant could not be certain that the algorithm necessary to operate the 'single offer system' would be effective."

Further, this had been raised with the Review Group in early April. To add insult to injury he concludes "the required algorithm... was a 'work in progress'" "

The implications of these admissions are huge. The DoH is being forced to admit that MTAS was a 'work in progress' and that they do not even know if the matching system would have worked. This next chunk demonstrates how Hewitt has been yet again stretching the truth as to why MTAS was pulled:

"Furthermore, the witness statement from Mr Greenfield seems to conflict with the statement made by Ms Hewitt to Parliament on Tuesday in which she stated "Given the continuing concerns of junior doctors about MTAS, the system will not be used for matching candidates to training posts". It now appears that the reasons for suspending MTAS were much more profound."

Indeed. It does rather appear that Patricia Hewitt pretended that she was scrapping MTAS for noble reasons, when in fact she was left with no real choice because the process was an untested failing experiment. I doubt that this would have ever come to light if Remedy had not forced this issue through the courts. I just wonder how many other dirty secrets are kept in the grimy DoH locker?

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