Friday, 14 December 2007

Health Committee update

Some rather revealing information came out this week, I shall attempt to summarise it for you. Crockard and Heard pointed out that they were the only two with a medical background on the MMC specialist board, and when they had left there were no people with medical backgrounds left in the MMC specialist training committee. This is an amazing admission and a sad indictment on the way that medical training is being run by idiots with no understanding of what they are managing.

What about the 'drift' towards run through training? Well it seems here that the four CMOs made a policy statement which set the direction for run through training, and this appears to have never been properly consulted as the wording of the earlier 'Unfinished Business' left things quite open and flexible as regards run through training. The policy seems to have been rather ahead of the consultation process, and then for some reason run through training became a straight jacket that it never had to be.

It came out that Crockard and Heard were both rather in favour of run through training, and therefore rather unable to see the massive downsides to its rigid nature. They didn't touch upon junior doctors who change their mind about which specialty to pursue, they also ignored the fact that many people do several years of other specialties which adds to their all round skills. Crockard and Heard's naive love of Foundation training showed how detached from reality they are, they must have been living on another planet for the last few years to believe that Foundation training gives junior doctors a better all round grounding than the PRHO year. Thanks to Foundation training juniors can waste months in useless posts without getting enough exposure to the bread and butter.

Amazingly MTAS was set up in 2005 without any attempt to engage the MMC team in the process, from the sound of it the DoH railroaded through DoH ideas in a completely uncompromising fashion. Shelley Heard made it clear that in her opinion the use of the electronic modality was very badly thought out indeed, and stated that scoring of applicants should have been based on 'harder' information, surely a dig at the white space questions? It was clear that the DoH tried to 'go it alone' in limiting applications from HSMPs, the DoH ignored the Home Office in its great wisdom. It shows an astonishing arrogance and incompetence exhibited by the DoH. Even Alan Crockard had great difficulty in getting through to the CMO's ivory tower, he spoke the deputy CMO about his concerns but I wonder what actually happened between the CMO and his deputy?

Next came the BMA and BAPIO, including Jo Hillbourne. The BMA bizarrely hinted that the profession should take the blame to a degree, whatever that means, surely the BMA's job was not done properly as they are meant to be representing the profession. The BMA was asked whether Remedy and Fidelio were more representative of the profession and their answer was pretty limp. Remedy was described as a single issue pressure group, what patronising rubbish, and the BMA claimed that when it raised concerns of policy it was excluded! Does this mean our union should never raise its concerns because it may be excluded? This is pathetic.

Jo Hillbourne thinks the JDC did everything it could have done, but was not supported by the higher BMA. Jo Hillbourne still thinks that it was a good idea not to have withdrawn from the MTAS review process, she thinks that engagement was more productive than open withdrawal; interestingly she said that the Royal Colleges did not want the JDC on the Douglas review group. It was very clear the the BMA and BAPIO felt that workforce planning had been completely mismanaged by the DoH.

I am still only1 hour 40 mins through! I will try to find time to listen to the remainder and vent my fury.

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