It’s been a long time coming, but today Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt has finally apologised to junior doctors over the continuing recruitment crisis. To read the full BBC story details click here. Ms Hewitt has admitted that the scheme has caused "terrible anxiety" for junior doctors which shouldn't have happened. Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Ms Hewitt said she regretted the failures in implementation of the Modernising Medical Careers (MMC) reforms.
An apology is a welcome start, but her problems are far from over. Tomorrow in a further review about the MMC process the President of the Royal College of Surgeons (Bernard Ribeiro) has reportedly said: “I will once more outline my grave concerns about the general situation and these recent developments and to assess whether there is any prospect of finding a satisfactory solution. I have to say that I am not optimistic and I assure you that I will dissociate myself from these negotiations if I see no recognition of the gravity of the situation generally, and particularly for surgery.”
The British Medical Association (BMA) have suggested that the Government has underestimated the specialist training posts by over 10,000 and warn that large numbers of doctors will have no training post in August. Dr Jo Hilborne, chairman of the BMA Junior Doctors Committee, said: "Not only has the government failed to design a fair recruitment process, they've also misled everyone on the number of jobs available.