The Department of Health has announced the figures showing how many junior doctor posts in England have been filled following the first round of MTAS. But it fails to spell out how many doctors may still be facing unemployment.
According to the Department, there were 29,193 applicants for junior doctor training posts in England and of these, 27,849 were eligible to apply for one of the 15,600 vacancies within MTAS. But 25,000 applicants were already working in the NHS.
A total of 15,554 training posts had been made available in round one, 11,816 of them run through training posts and 3,559 fixed term appointments. A further 179 academic posts were also available.
A total of 13,168 training posts had been accepted at the end of round one. Of these, 10,804 are run through (RT) posts and 2,262 of them are one year fixed term specialty training appointment (FTSTA) posts. It leaves 2,320 unfilled posts for applicants in round two. In addition, a further 1000 one-year training posts will be made available to those doctors unable to secure a post at the end of round two, which will end on 31 October.
The figures published so far do not make it clear how many of those who applied were in staff and associate specialist posts, how many were existing SHOs and how many of them juniors. So it is not possible to work out how many doctors currently working in the NHS are facing potential unemployment.
Those in SAS posts will not be unemployed if they fail to secure a post under the current process, but doctors coming out of foundation training or those currently in SHO grades could find themselves jobless. Nor is it clear how many of the eligible applicants were overseas applicants. The figures would indicate that as many as 14,249 eligible applicants had graduated overseas. However, many of these may have been working in the NHS already, often for many years. It is unclear how many medical graduates may have been trying to apply from outside the UK.
Of the 13,600 UK graduates who applied, 9,336 (almost 70 per cent) have accepted a post at the end of Round One.
Health Minister Ann Keen said: “The high fill-rate is good news for patients, the NHS and deaneries across the country and has been achieved despite this year’s problems with implementing the national recruitment programme.
“We are working hard with the NHS on this second round of recruitment, and on the development of a package of support for those appointable applicants who have yet to find a post.”
The Department has announced a package of support for those appointable junior doctors who have not found the right posts following Round Two. It includes:
– some 1,000 extra one-year and GP training posts;
– access to career information about future training options via local Deaneries. (Applicants who are already in NHS Employment will also be able to access career support from their employer.)
– a careers website for junior doctors to support their decision making when looking at future careers
– educational grants allowing appointable but unsuccessful applications who are in service posts to pursue their clinical education and improve their chances of successfully applying for specialty training next year.
England Summary of Round 1 Acceptances
Excluding Defence Medical Services
Acceptances data correct as of Round One close on 26 June
All Round 1 Posts:
Round 1 fill-rate by specialty (Royal College groupings)
Royal College Fill rate (percentage of posts filled at close of Round One
Emergency Medicine 82%
General Practitioners 98%
Obstetricians and Gynaecologists 74%
Paediatrics and Child Health 83%
Round fill-rate by Unit of Application (Deanery)
Unit of Application Fill-rate (percentage of posts filled at close of Round One)
Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Rutland 80%
North Western 92%
South Yorkshire & South Humber 74%
Southwest Peninsula 74%
West Midlands 77%