Saturday, 4 August 2007

The 'ambitious innovative' MTAS

This is the picture that the BBC attempted to portray this evening on Newsnight, a report fronted by an Economics editor that woefully failed to get to grips with the real issues regarding MTAS and MMC. Junior doctors were unfairly portrayed as spoilt brats who had no right to expect to be treated humanely by their masterful employer, the NHS.

The illogical statements of Jim Johnson 'vascular surgeon', which claimed that crushing the hopes of thousands by forcing them into demoralising service grade posts would improve the service, beggared belief. While the spiteful Alan Maynard again showed his utter failure to understand anything about how to provide a good quality health service by hinting that doctors were simply too expensive now; I wonder if the patients would be happy to hear that the government thinks it is now too expensive to provide a high quality service run by doctors?

The program was a shoddy attempt at journalism concocted by a broadcaster which has consistently failed to get its head around these complex issues. How Channel 4 have shown them how it should be done over recent weeks. The patronising and insulting tone adopted by the aristocratic BBC journalists did appear more than a little hypocritical given their own secure careers, careers which they have forged by attacking easy targets such as junior doctors. It made me laugh that they portrayed us as a 'powerful' group, while our union the BMA were painted as a militant band; events this year have shown that we are far from 'powerful' and that the BMA are more of a damp squib than a militant mob.

The worst thing was that this BBC report failed to capture any of the human element of this disaster, by trying to portray the oppressed as spoilt and and powerful, they had only succeeded in making themselves appear as callous agents of the state. It is very sad that we have almost become so numb that all the upsetting stories do not have the impact that they should anymore. I sit and think that I should be sadder, or angrier, but the emotional tap has run pretty much dry. I have been left resentful and bitter, not a pleasant combination I know.

I find it hard to take in just how many people's hopes, dreams, lives, careers have been left in tatters thanks to this year's shambles. I think of close friends who I know have been let down and then I start to feel less numb, I can still empathise after all. But when it comes to trying to add up just how many doctors have been let down so very badly, I hit a brick wall, I cannot imagine so much neglectful destruction in one go.

So many have been left unemployed and shattered, so many have been moved miles from their homes, so many have had offers withdrawn, so many have been treated with disdain and scorn by various agents of the state, so many have been left in a state of depressed apathy that they so do not deserve to have to experience.

It is too much to imagine, would we be able to cope if we could imagine so much human suffering on such a scale? We must not forget this betrayal, if any of us make it higher up the chain of command we should always remember how this felt, there should be no excuse for treating people with so little respect.

The BBC thinks things have been 'overdone'. I am embarrassed for them that they are so happy to belittle the betrayal of a generation of hard working caring professionals in such a way. The government's admission that a high quality NHS run by properly trained doctors is just too costly is not newsworthy in the eyes of the BBC. But then I just a spolit junior doctor who happens to want to be trained to a high level so that I can do my job well in the future, what's so wrong with that?


Advanced Practitioner said...


As you know more than 30,000 doctors fought for around 20,000 training posts. The online selection procedure was an utter shambles.

A survey carried out by the Royal College of Psychiatrists questioned 700 doctors about how their well-being was affected during this botched recruitment process.

More than one in five junior doctors said they had contemplated suicide due to the stress brought on by the recruitment fiasco. A third said they have made more mistakes at work as a result of the flawed Modernising Medical Careers Programme.

Patricia Hewitt do you feel proud?

Proud - that a third of junior doctors have consumed more alcohol in the past six months, have shown symptoms of anxiety, depression, experienced sleep disturbances and feelings of hopelessness.

Is this a job well done?

Jo Hilbourne, chairman of the British Medical Association’s junior doctors’ committee, said: ‘these findings were deeply worrying, but not surprising.

Anxiety and depression is the second most common cause of morbidity worldwide and thanks to Patricia Hewitt's and her predecessors the percentage of people suffering these conditions distinctly rose in that six-month period!

Patricia may have saved money for the NHS but she and her cohorts have damaged the lives through the complete shambles Nulabour called progress.

dreamingspire said...

Talking last night (Sat 4/8) to a hospital worker, I heard that in the local large hospital the new cohort will not be deployed until tomorrow (Mon 6/8). They have first been subjected to 3 days of induction training. Its been a few days of holding your breath in that hospital.

On the BBC: In some respects I differentiate between radio and TV. BBC1 TV’s News descent into tabloid headlining is despicable, and even worse is the (hopefully faked) excitement of some of the presenters as they deliver those headlines. Couple that with the regular slips into loose writing across both TV and radio, and we are too often ill-served by the BBC news channels on anything with a technical content. Time for them to get off the sofa and give us consistent quality. Here is an example that admittedly is somewhat tangential to reporting the MTAS fiasco: after weeks of accurately reporting that Shambo the bull had ‘tested positive for TB’ (using a test that we know is unreliable), on 26/7 R4 8 am, when the animal was still alive, they suddenly came out with “Shambo was diagnosed with bovine tuberculosis” and then on BBC1 1 pm news: “[Shambo] has tuberculosis”. No matter that the post-mortem a few days later confirmed that the animal did have it: as numerous farming stories have revealed, animals that don’t have TB have tested positive because we don’t routinely use the best test, and its only the post-mortem that confirms one way or the other. Why is it only BBC radio’s farming programmes that report those farmers who have been avoiding TB by using well researched husbandry methods?

Garth Marenghi said...


another way the government seems to be dividing and ruling, is by splitting up the nursing and medical professions into different camps,

good proper nursing and good clinical medicine have been devalued and butchered in the process and this is a crying shame,