Date Published: 16 January 2009

Doctors' careers must not be jeopardised by failure of paediatrics applications system

Health News from the United Kingdom (UK).

The BMA today (16/1/09) discovered that the national software used by doctors to apply for specialist training posts in paediatrics has failed in England. It has called upon the Department of Health to contact all applicants affected to ensure they are not unfairly disadvantaged.

Dr Andy Thornley, Chairman of the BMA’s Junior Doctors committee said:

The failure of a computer system involved in the applications process will be extremely alarming to junior doctors who remember the disastrous collapse of the Medical Training Application Service in 2007. The BMA has contacted the Department of Health for reassurance that applicants will not suffer as a result of the failure of this computer system.

Whilst the problems in the system do not seem to involve security of personal information it does look like significant numbers of applicants will have submitted applications that have been corrupted due to a fault in the system.

We are also concerned that the national computer system used to process applications in paediatrics is also used in some other specialties. At the moment it is not clear whether the problem is isolated to one specialty or is more widespread."

He added:

It is very disappointing that we are talking about failure in application systems only 18 months after the MTAS debacle. The BMA has repeatedly called for the rigorous testing of any new application systems and it is extremely concerning to see problems once again.”


Source: British Medical Association.

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