GPs plan parliament protest over training

GPs angered by Modernising Medical Careers are set to join in a mass medical lobby of parliament next week.

On Tuesday doctors are due to swarm the House of Commons in protest. Details are still to be finalised about where doctors who cannot get in will gather.

Dr Olivia Hum, a GP locum in Brighton and Worthing, is hoping to get to the lobby.

‘Lots of my friends have been shafted by the application system, the Medical Training Application Service (MTAS). Because of this system, as GPs we will be referring to poorly qualified doctors.’

Dr James Booth, a GP in Essex who was out with the 12,000-strong march last month, said: ‘A lot of people I know will become a lost generation’.

Dr Sarah Anneti, a GP retainer from Buckinghamshire, said that the profession is ‘looking to Remedy UK for leadership and to come up with answers’.

The protest group Remedy UK said ‘the only fair solution’ is to scrap MTAS and return to the old system of local and deanery applications for the February 2008 selection round. Posts awarded under MTAS in August 2007 should be designated ‘temporary training posts’, it suggested.

GPs are contributing to Remedy’s legal fund to support a challenge to the ‘unfair and impractical’ fix agreed by the DoH’s Review Group into Modernising Medical Careers (MMC).

The protest group is mounting a judicial review to establish whether the current selection round is lawful.

Earlier this month Professor Shelley Heard, national clinical adviser for MMC, resigned from the Review Group, saying that it had lost sight of its strategic aims. This was followed Professor Alan Crockard’s resignation as MMC national director.

Dr Chris Hulbert, 58, a GP from Malpas in Cheshire, was on the Remedy march and will be lobbying ‘in principle’.

Dr Hulbert’s son, a surgical senior house officer, has not been shortlisted for a training interview.

‘It has been a shock to him. It is likely he won’t get a training place and may be forced to give up medicine or leave the country.’

Dr Clare Dyer, a part-time GP in Hertfordshire, said it meant that her husband, having left the NHS, now cannot come back.

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