Wednesday, 16 May 2007

MTAS 'ditched'?

Following Patricia Hewitt's statement in the Commons today, the story is running that MTAS has been 'ditched'. I always take what they government say with a pinch of salt, so I just wonder how much truth is there to this? Hewitt stated:

"........The review group met again on 9 May to consider the process of offering posts to candidates who are successful in their Round 1 applications. The group agreed that offers for the current round will be managed locally by individual deaneries, on the basis of published MMC guidance.

Offers will be made to successful candidates on a phased basis as interviews for each specialty are completed. Subject to the outcome of the current Judicial Review, the first offers for hospital specialities in England will be made on or after 21 May 2007......... Given the continuing concerns of junior doctors about MTAS, the system will not be used for matching candidates to training posts, but will continue to be used for national monitoring.

........The review group has agreed that this further recruitment will be locally planned and managed by the deaneries."

The majority of jobs are still going to be handed out based on a deeply flawed short listing process and with candidates being restricted to four applications. The process is still unfair. I fail to see how this development is anything but the government conceding the inevitable, that the computerised element will not be up and running again this year.

This appears to be a government smokescreen for the impending judicial review that starts tomorrow. MTAS the computer has been ditched, however MTAS the process remains very much alive and kicking. There is even talk that in some deaneries only candidates who ranked their deanery 1st will be offered jobs; given that people have chopped and changed their choices to maximise their number of interviews, this opens up yet another can of worms.

As to what this means practically to the candidates on the ground, a lot remains to be seen. That is why I will not be yet counting my chickens, the biggest joke is that no one actually has a clue what is going to happen now?

Can anyone enlighten me?

Update post scriptum: Patricia Hewitt failed to enlighten us on the Channel 4 news this evening, she was given a good Snow-ing and definitely came off a distinct second best. It is still abundantly clear from listening to her that the system is blatantly unfair, Round 1 still remains an abolsute disgrace in my opinion. It is simply not good enough.

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