Department of Health and Social Care
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Terms of reference for Modernising Medical Careers independent review announced

Terms of reference for Modernising Medical Careers independent review announced

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH News Release (2007/0095) issued by The Government News Network on 24 April 2007

Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt today announced the terms of reference of the independent review into Modernising Medical Careers, which will establish how the programme will go forward in 2008 and beyond.

The review will be chaired by Sir John Tooke, Dean of the Peninsula Medical School, Chair of the Council of Heads of Medical Schools and Chair of the UK Health Education Advisory Committee.

The review will examine the processes underlying Modernising Medical Careers and make recommendations to ensure that we can implement any necessary improvements for 2008 and the future.

The reform of specialist medical training is the next stage of the Modernising Medical Careers (MMC) initiative, designed to improve the quality and safety of patient care through better education and training for doctors and ensure fully trained specialist doctors deliver more NHS services.

The review will be conducted independently of the four Health Departments and will have its own independent secretariat. It will report on an interim basis in September 2007.

Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt said:

"The Independent Review of Modernising Medical Careers (MMC), chaired by Sir John Tooke, will examine the framework and processes underlying MMC and make recommendations to inform any improvements for 2008 and beyond.

"The review will clarify and strengthen the principles underlying MMC, examining the extent to which MMC has engaged the medical profession and make recommendations to ensure that it has the support of the profession in the future. It will also look at the implementation processes underlying MMC and the methods used in selection and recruitment and how MMC can deliver a flexible response and can reflect local needs across the UK as well as safeguarding national standards."

The review will examine:

- the extent to which MMC has engaged the medical profession and to make recommendations to ensure that it has the support of the profession in the future

- the extent to which implementation to date has met the needs of doctors in training, patients, the service and employers

- the governance structures across the UK that underpin MMC and the inter-governmental working arrangements of the four home countries

- the implementation processes underlying MMC and the methods used in selection and recruitment

- factors relating to the wider professional, regulatory, workforce and service environment which may have impacted on the programme.

It will also consider specific issues that have been the subject of stakeholder concern, including:

- the extent and quality of stakeholder engagement with the programme

- the effective engagement of doctors in training and the profession as a whole in MMC and the development of a proper understanding of its aims and benefits

- the appropriate relationship between the acquisition of competence and the pursuit of excellence

- the assessment methodologies used in the selection process including the relative merits of competency-based and more traditional methods of selection and recruitment

- the use of assessment centres in selection and recruitment

- the level of choice on offer at application

- the lack of flexibility available to trainees on run-through programmes

- the role of fixed-term training posts alongside run-through posts

- the relative roles of the Deaneries and the Medical Royal Colleges in delivering components of the programme

- the need for flexibility in implementation across the UK.

ENDS

Notes to editors

- Further announcements about the membership of the review will be made as soon as possible.

- A written statement to the House on 27 March explained the progress and decisions the Review Group had made.

- The review group has concluded that the concerns raised about recruitment related in the main to the process itself and not to the underlying principles of Modernising Medical Careers. Recommendations included:

- The General Practice recruitment exercise will as far as possible continue as planned though the timetable may need to be revised. This recruitment process has not been subject to the same concerns as specialty recruitment.

- The Review Group is undertaking further work on recruitment into academic medical programmes. The Group issued a further statement on 4 April that set out its proposals for the way ahead for recruitment into specialty training. The Group made a number of recommendations on the present recruitment round.

- For applicants who have already been short-listed, all interviews already conducted in Round 1 of the process will be honoured and the outcomes will count. Applicants will also be able to revise their preferences in the light of published competition ratios. They will be able to do this later this week.

- They will also get offers of interviews for their first preference job for which they are eligible if they have not already had one.

- Where candidates have not previously been short-listed, they will be allowed to revise their preferences and will be guaranteed an offer of an interview for their first preference for which they are eligible.

- There will be a second round of recruitment for applicants who do not get jobs in the first round. This second round will be based on a revised short-listing and interview process including a structured CV.

Further information about MMC can be found at http://www.mmc.nhs.uk

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