Junior doctors who had hoped to hear from today exactly what the arrangements will be for the single guaranteed interview process in England are unlikely to know until Wednesday or Thursday — on the eve of the Easter holiday.
The continued delay no doubt adds to the frustration and anxiety felt after last week’s news the Professor Crockard had resigned from Modernising Medical Careers and that the devolved administrations — Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland — had decided to offer more than one interview.
But by the end of today there was no news from MMC — and a spokesperson said it was unlikely there would be any further announcement until Wednesday or Thursday.
Meanwhile Remedy UK, which is pursuing legal action in protest at the MTAS review group’s plans to offer candidates a single interview only, is refusing to say more about its exact legal case.
‘It would be nonsense to go into the details before the announcement is made,” said Remedy UK organiser Matt Jameson Evans.
But their website says the action is based on the belief that MTAS is ‘fatally flawed’:
“The aim of the challenge is to halt the process pending judicial review, i.e.: a review will decide whether it is legal. In the meantime, this process would require interim measures so that doctors are still employed by August and that hospitals are not left empty,” says a spokesperson.
“MTAS left thousands of doctors without interviews – this was unfair as the system was not validated, application forms got lost, etc.,” she says. “The recent review board suggestion – interviewing all 1st choices only – is unfair on those who have previously been interviewed without the benefit of their CV, as well as the (approx) 11,000 with more than one interview.”
The organisation is calling for junior doctors with first hand experience of the way the system worked to contact them with details, which will be used to support the judicial review.
They want written statements from people who have been interviewed early on, under the original ‘MTAS form interview’; from those interviewed with MTAS form plus CV; and from those interviewed later with ‘CV + probing questions’.
Remedy UK is also hoping to hold a lobby of MPs, possibly on Tuesday 24 April, though the date and details have yet to be confirmed.
Meanwhile a spokesperson for MMC has confirmed that one of the mothers involved in the protests, a member of Mums4 Medics, has taken Professor Crockard, former head of MMC, to the General Medical Council.
Members of the Junior Doctors Committee of the BMA also met this afternoon. bmj.com will update you on the situation as the news unfolds.