Thursday, 8 May 2008

Health Committee bottle it - first thoughts

The Health Select Committee released their report on the mess that is also know as Modernising Medical Careers (MMC) today. A bunch of politicians with only a little understanding of medical training were never going to produce anything as insightful or intelligent as Sir John Tooke. Overall the report talks the talk, pointing out a lot of glaring errors that occurred along the way, but fails to walk the walk, as it does not call anyone to account or propose any sensible changes that would help prevent similar mistakes being made in the future.

The report states the obvious failings that occurred time and time again throughout the botched MMC process. The DoH rushed the reform through negligently without listening, where have we heard this before? The leaders of numerous quangos and the so called 'leaders' of the medical profession let us all down time and time again. PMETB and the GMC are muppets. The CMO won't even take responsibility for his own nappy.

Tooke's report was infinitely superior to the Health Committee's inelegant and cumbersome blunderbuss of an effort. They seem to have been sucked in by certain porkies concerning the glorious success of Foundation training according to the DoH and Deaneries, what neutrals these people are in describing their own lovechilds. They were not sucked in as regards to completely useless process that was the infamous MTAS 2007. While the Committee's comments on the consultant grade appear ominous to say the least.

Overall though the Health Committee have just produced a lot of paper and hot air, there is not much at the end of all this that will prevent such disasters happening again in the near future. No one is being forced to account, meaning that many of chief MMC culprits are being left in control to 'fix' their own mess, the useless MMC programme board carries on regardless. NHS:MEE and Tooke have been neatly sidestepped, it is simply not good enough to say that the DoH must listen in the future, they have been told this time and time again, but they never listen because no one is ever responsible or accountable for their wreckless decisions and reforms. The problems of EWTD and the sub-consultant grade will not magically dissappear, likewise the evil of competency based fundamentalism is also ignored. What is the role of the doctor? One hopes that bending over to be regularly shafted by the government is not part of the job description.

One thing I have learned from this disatrous MMC and MTAS experience is that unless we all unite and force the hands of the so called 'leaders' then we will continue to be led down the garden path towards the dung heap. The DoH, the GMC, PMETB, Ara Darzi, the Colleges, our so called 'leaders' and the BMA will not suddenly grow testacles and brains in order to save medical training from the MMC blender, we will have to do that for ourselves somehow.


Future Doc said...

I'm not sure of the out come but I've just sent a letter to my MP after reading Remedy's take on the committee's report.

It doesn't inspire much hope in me for a possible future profession when not a single member of government owns up for what they did.

David L. Cox said...

I too feel that the HSC has spent a very long time to publish the obvious.

That Donaldson, Black and Rubin for example remain is as far beyond a joke as could be imagined; their culpability known to all and sundry, hopefully their colleagues well placed displeasure and obvious mistrust of them apparent to them too!

The NHS:MEE recommendation is both wrong and shocking. It essentially encourages the failures to either have another go at cocking it up or possibly some incompetent managers to cover the cost over-runs by spending the training budget elsewhere, as has happened only too frequently in the past.

Little in the history of this mess encourages the belief that either competence or honour resides in the management in the DH. The clear out needed last year remains the greatest need now!

And then to the real point - what is proposed to right the wrongs? There remain legions affected by the 2007 fiasco, now spread over the world; the 2008 fiasco cometh, but no action is obvious other than repeats of scant apologies from unnammed DH spokesmen.

Urgent massive increase in the training places and the treatment of both run through positions, FTSTA's and SAS jobs in the same way as full training positions, all reasonable and sensible actions and potentially solutions that will recover the lost tribes currently in Australasia are needed NOW. 2009 is too late! No doubt with his head well below the parapet for the foreseeable future (his normal behaviour when a leader is needed), the Ginger Limpet will be ignoring the needs for months yet! Who will act?

Anonymous said...


Masterful post.

We might as well be ready for the dung heap my friend. Apathy rules!

By the way, I have always thought that there was a startling similarity between the house elf in Harry Potter and Darzi.

Keep up the great work GM

Rita Pal

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