Saturday, March 10, 2007

Today's U-Turns

Is everyone clear?

From the Department of Making It Up As They Go Along:

1. Diplomas- "The Government is preparing to scrap its specialist diplomas designed to run alongside A-levels. Tony Blair is said to regret his decision to reject the overarching qualifications recommended by Sir Mike Tomlinson in the run-up to the last general election. This led to the compromise new diplomas in such subjects as health and social care, engineering and construction.

The work-related courses are planned for 14- to 16-year-olds and at a higher level for sixth-formers. Millions of pounds have already been spent planning the first five diplomas, due to be in schools by September next year."

2. Surgeons' Recruitment- "Hundreds of promising young surgeons who failed to get interviews in a "fatally flawed" job application system (MTAS) are to have a second chance, after a second climbdown by the Department of Health. The Royal College of Surgeons announced last night that it had "successfully negotiated a rescue package for trainee surgeons". This heralds an end to the crumbling applications and interview system. Senior consultants have already begun to boycott interview panels because they believe the new system is not fit for purpose.
The new programme of training for junior doctors and its online application system has produced a torrent of criticism and four days ago forced Patricia Hewitt, the Health Secretary, to agree to an immediate review."

It's unclear quite how much of our money was wasted on the Medical Training and Application Service (MTAS), but we're certainly talking millions.

PS We're a little concerned for the Commissar's mental wellbeing. She didn't look great during her 15 rounds with Bomber Halligan, and that was before this latest fiasco blew open.

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