Vaughan Gething, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Services
You will be aware of the difficulties raised last weekend in relation to the recruitment of Junior Doctors. An error has occurred in the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) recruitment process for ST3 level (Speciality Trainees) higher medicine specialties, which means candidates across the UK have been incorrectly ranked and some potentially offered posts they shouldn’t have whilst others will have missed out.
Since this identification of the error the Wales Deanery has been working with the organisations responsible for postgraduate medical training within the 4 UK countries to ensure we are clear about developments and implications for individuals.
My officials have and continue to be in regular contact with the Wales Deanery to establish the consequences for Wales. The Deanery has confirmed 43 individuals had accepted an offer of a training place in Wales and as a result this is the minimum number affected. While for many there may be little, if any change in overall outcome of the recruitment process, there may be wider implications for individuals where for example their partners may have accepted posts and /or made other arrangements based upon the outcome of the recruitment process.
It is important that those affected by this error are kept fully informed about the steps being taken to address the situation, how they can raise concerns about their individual circumstances and receive timely responses to inform the choices they face.
The Wales Deanery has confirmed that information had been provided to all trainees affected and all Heads of Schools and Training Programme Directors. Further information and a copy of the released statement can be found via this website link: http://www.st3recruitment.org.uk/news/major-issue-with-st3-2018-r1-process-offers-to-be-re-run
A series of UK and stakeholder discussions have taken place this week to identify and consider potential resolutions to this situation.
A series of FAQs have been released which can be accessed via this website link: http://www.st3recruitment.org.uk/news/st3-re-offers-faqs-published
My officials are monitoring the situation alongside the Wales Deanery to ensure we are clear about developments and any implications for individuals. The first iteration of offers was issued on 10th May, with further offer iterations scheduled for next week. Trainees will have until late on 14 May to respond.
For those trainees who receive a less favourable offer than their original, there is a commitment to work with these individuals to ensure they are supported appropriately. The Wales Deanery will work with the specialties where this may be the case to see whether, training capacity allowing, they can support and keep these trainees in Wales.
I have asked my officials to work with the Wales Deanery as this situation develops and to identify any steps Welsh Government can take to support the Deanery in addressing any issues that may arise.
Information has been issued to Workforce Teams across the Health Boards in Wales to notify them of the delays and revised timeframes. Given the circumstances this is unavoidable and outside the control of the Wales Deanery.
Over the last few days the Wales Deanery have been prioritising trainee queries and supporting the efforts to resolve this issue alongside UK colleagues.
For further information please visit: https://www.rcplondon.ac.uk/