This week the BMJ published my opinion piece on the 'Shape of Training' review:
"The GMC spent more than £4000 on legal fees in resisting my freedom of information request. The court also commented on information obtained from the GMC’s internal correspondence that did not relate to the Shape of Training review: “The evidence was that at one meeting an individual sought an assurance that the minutes would not be published and his willingness to discuss matters freely was contingent upon getting this assurance.” This shows the general way that the GMC effectively allows lobbying on policy off the record, despite supposedly being an independent organisation."
As I have previously described on several occasions, there are numerous problems with the review. The case and evidence for the major structural change proposed have never been adequately made, the logic underlying the review's recommendations is lacking, the potentially harmful consequences are huge and the methodology is far from transparent and robust. There is also the broader issue of transparency and the public interest:
"Without transparency there can be no accountability. A reliance on secret discussions may, therefore, erode accountability, potentially leading to policy that better serves the interests of government than those of anyone else. Why key matters relating to patient safety cannot be “fully considered and debated” in a transparent manner before decisions are made is incomprehensible to me."
Anyway what's the point? Well the review is currently in the process of being implemented, so every little thing that we can all do now can make a difference to the outcome for our training and our patients. The simple things you can do include writing to your MP, sign my petition on 38 degrees, write to your Royal College or trainee organisation, and spread the petition/BMJ article on the social media or via email. Please make the effort, every little bit of momentum really does help.....