Wednesday, 23 May 2007

Let battle commence

Unfortunately Remedy have lost their case in the high court today, however the judgement demonstrates that their case was not fought in vain, far from it, it has released some purulent debris from the corridors of power occupied by our medical dictatorship:

'There was no pilot for MTAS.'

'It is not surprising that many junior doctors feel upset, anger and a real sense of grievance.'

'The BMA's calls for delays to MTAS were ignored.'

Jo Hillborne describes the current situation as 'the least bad solution in the circumstances'

'Dr Hillborne states that there is no certainty that a proper or rigorous process would follow'

'Dr Hillborne says that there would not have been time to revert to the old system'

'Making RTT jobs short term would lead to uncertainty and be unfair and lead to uncertainty'

'Dr Fielden agreed with the above comments'

'A meeting between Remedy and Clare Chapman did not take place as agreed, this meeting was suggested by Clare Chapman'

'Professor Douglas did not allow questions to be put to him about a possible solution'

'Such meetings as there were fell well short of consultation'

Then this piece is key:

'Mr Cavanagh QC on behalf of the BMA submits that Mr de la Mare's submissions on consultation are wholly misconcieved. The BMA is the only recognised trade union. The fact that all doctors are not members is not to the point. It is democratic. It knows and can take into account its members' views. The fact that some junior doctors disagree with its views does not mean the process of consultation was flawed. Moreover, as is clear from the evidence the BMA did invite Remedy UK to make a presentation to it. It arranged the meeting of 15th March 2007. It was sufficient for the defendant to consult the BMA.'

'MTAS was a flawed system in the waysI indicated. This judgement does not mean I agree with the decision of the review group; merely that it was one the review group was entitled to. Neither does it mean that individual doctors would not have good grounds to appeal regarding their allocation or that they would not have good cases before an employment tribunal. Quite the contrary could well be the case.''

My impression from reading through the judgement is that the judge did not get to grips with the reality of MTAS and its 'consultation'. He made the mistake of assuming that the BMA was even vaguely 'democratic' which it has recently been proven not to be. I do not understand how a union can just be assumed to be representing its members when the BMA have not consulted its members on MTAS and MMC once. Prof Morris Brown et al's recent survey proved that the review group's decision, which the BMA have stuck to in the high court, was against the wishes of a majority of their members.

The MTAS process is grossly unfair and flawed, and this was all entirely preventable. The powers that be, including the DoH and BMA, did not address the problems adequately and have left junior doctors with a fudged shambles. Remedy is the only body or group that has represented the majority of junior doctors throughout this sorry affair. The negative verdict is yet another example of the architects of the this disaster conspiring against the grass roots of the medical profession. The BMA and the DoH have blood on their hands.

It cannot be denied that thanks to these corrupt cronies the medical profession will see hundreds of long term jobs handed out to some of the weaker candidates, while stronger candidates may well be left out in the cold. The process is still unfair and gives a massive advantage to candidates who benefited from the useless short listing process. The BMA and the DoH have conspired to prevent this unfairness from being minimised against the will of the majority of doctors.

Despite this, well done to Remedy UK, you have flourished during many a junior's time of need. Without you many of us would have been left without a voice. I thank you for that and only hope that the battle can be continued on pastures anew. This defeat can only make us stronger.


The Scribe said...

My view is that the claim was poorly drafted. They didn't need Blackstones. They needed Ben Emmerson QC.

Juniors deserved better

Rita Pal

Anonymous said...

The legal team were superb and won the argument but could not beat the legal system. We achieved a moral victory and without the treachery of the BMA might even have made history. The legal team did not receive any payment and therefore deserve our thanks and respect.