Feeds

NHS looks to prevent Mtas repeat

Starts consultation on not screwing up

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

The NHS has published a consultation document on the use of a national computer system to manage recruitment of junior doctors, in a bid to avoid a repeat of this year's debacle.

The computerised Medical Training Application Scheme (Mtas) was aimed at modernising the process for junior doctors to apply for training, but technical problems and security breaches meant that many of the best applicants did not get an interview.

In an attempt to avoid a repeat of this year's recruitment problems, the NHS Modernising Medical Careers (MMC) programme board has published the consultation document on how it can improve processes for next year.

The issue of whether applications should be managed using a national computer portal followed by local handling, or by entirely local processing, is described by the MMC board as "possibly the most contentious issue in the decisions to improve recruitment in 2008".

It says the system did not crash but it was very slow near the closing date for applications, causing many applicants difficulties in completing and submitting their forms. Two security breaches led to a decision to close the system and switch to local processes.

The board, however, claims that the same system was successfully used for GP recruitment, reducing the workload for recruiters. It also points to an independent audit, as part of the Douglas Review, which found that the system was "stable, performed acceptably and contained the necessary functionality to be fit for purpose".

In principle, says the board, a national computer portal would bring several advantages. It would assure applicants of a consistent process, provide a single place for applicants to make applications, allow national monitoring and data analysis to manage improvements and influence future process design, provide an audit trail and reduce administrative burdens.

The board concedes there is currently a lack of confidence among junior doctors and consultants. There is also a risk that an acceptable, user friendly system for 2008 will not be ready in the short timescale.

Policy decisions for 2008, for recommendation to ministers, need to be made at the board's meeting on 1 October to allow sufficient time to design and implement a system before recruitment starts in early January 2008.

The deadline for responses to the proposals is 25 September 2007.

This article was originally published at Kablenet.

Kablenet's GC weekly is a free email newsletter covering the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. To register click here.

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Yes, yes, Steve Jobs. Look what I'VE done for you lately – Tim Cook
New iPhone biz baron points to Apple's (his) greatest successes
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.