back to article Doctors aim to have Chief Medical Officer struck off

Doctors will this week mount a court battle for the chance to have Sir Liam Donaldson, the Chief Medical Officer, struck off for his role in a disastrous computer system. Remedy UK, a campaign group representing 1,600 doctors, will use a judicial review starting tomorrow to try to force the General Medical Council (GMC) to …

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Flame

Management, responsible?

Did these doctors fall from the moon? Or arrived from elsewhere in the world?

Responsibility is a dirty word in the society which NuLieBore built. And management responsibility is a doubly dirty word.

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Big Brother

I really wish that people would stop referring to them as things like 'NuLieBore'

That lot are bad enough without giving them ammunition.

That said, I believe the word you are looking for is 'doubleplusungood'.

BB icon, obviously.

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Stop

You will be amazed

He will receive an MBE, CBE or even Knighthood. Nu Lab - rewards for failure all round. I wonder how much he's getting for retiring early...

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Anonymous Coward

retiring early?

Don't you mean 12 years too late?

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Funny he's retiring early...

...he'll be gone, no doubt with some rich pickings, before any decision gets to be made.

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Ironic really

"We are drawing a line in the sand over cronyism and lack of accountability in the upper echelons of the medical profession."

Which is exactly what the Web site was supposed to do - it allowed all junior doctors to see and apply for all posts.

Instead of the existing system of the plum jobs being fixed up on the golf course for a "young chap from my old college".

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Anonymous Coward

Two Words

Two word that strike fear into the heart of anybody working* in the public sector: Centralized Database

*So that excludes management then.

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Gold badge
FAIL

Medical jobs database euthanised @ < £7m

Now that's what I call *prompt* triage.

Pity they couldn't manage to terminate a few others while they are at it.

Interesting he was described as the "architect" of the system.

Lot of experience in database design? Long track record of rolling out high volume secure browser based apps? Keen grasp of privacy issues?

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Gates Horns

Medical oversight can sometimes rebound on one

John Smith 19 wrote:

"Interesting he was described as the "architect" of the system."

I suspect this is part of the old-school (or if it isn't old-school, it ought to be) tactic of senior medical people always insisting their names get added to their managed staff's scientific or research papers. Depending on how pompous or full of their own self-importance they were, the additions could either be appended or prepended. Its not as prevalent as it once was for a variety of reasons, one of which is the incidence with which it can rebound on one if some irregularities with the publications are found. I'm not saying this happened here or that it didn't happen, but the ability of certain members of the medical profession to bolster their own reputations and standings at every opportunity can still be underestimated.

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Dead Vulture

We should be

"drawing a line in the sand over cronyism and lack of accountability in the upper echelons of"

all the QUANGO money rat rafts that these old buggers have in place which they cling to for dear life as they continue perverting the meaning of the word "democracy".

The term, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels springs immediately to mind.

Sack 'em all,

ALF

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Big Brother

Re-arranging the deckchairs

Even if this move succeeds, it will be merely another case of scratching the surface so gently that only deckchairs will be being rearranged. The overall problem is multi-featured and includes such aspects as: (a) having a GMC in the first place, which is essentially self-monitoring and self-regulation, albeit with teeth for those who defy the groupthink ethic that infests still the long-standing, highly professionalised members of the medical profession. As such it is just as open to criticism as the so-called "Independent Police Complaints" body is. Instead, they should have a truly independent regulatory body with real teeth and a willingness to use them where necessary; (b) As just stated, the groupthink that has arisen because of the historical aspects of the professionalisation of the medical profession, where "mindguards" watch out for people who are prepared to buck the system and use various methods to either eject them or pull them into line; (c) chronic cronyism that has been resistant so far to all attempts to eradicate it; (d) long-standing privileges and perks that in any other system would be viewed as bordering on the corrupt. The only reason they are not now viewed by many as being corrupt is because they have been in place for so long without being exposed (see "mindguards", above). If the general public think that the expenses scandals surrounding MPs is bad, they need only look at the privileges and perks, and the additional expenses already highly-paid medical people are able to claim to see something equal to the unreformed expenses system MPs has at their disposal until recently; (e) the long-standing public image that medics have carefully and fiercely guarded that elevates them to highly powerful and highly placed positions in the minds of too many of the public. In this, the UK shares this problem certainly with the USA, but travel to many other countries and you will see that less-powerful medical associations and professions foster a much more healthy scepticism and attitude towards medics. However, in the UK, all too often, legitimate complaints about medics' behaviour is dealt with by completely unprofessional ad hominem statements about those making the criticisms, suggesting that they are acting out of envy, or personal grudges, or that they even have personality or psychological problems, and hence the complaints need not be taken too seriously. Such moves are unethical ones, as well as being just plain inaccurate in many cases, but such is the perceived power of the profession that such invalid statements are rarely successfully challenged (they are part of the "mindguards" arsenal of counter-weapons, for instance.)

Nothing significant will change until all of these are tackled, and so the latest move to unseat Liam Donaldson is merely a re-arrangement of the deckchairs.

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MTAS was a disaster

MMC - Modernising Medical Careers - is the programme for postgraduate medical training in the UK, introduced in 2005. It aimed to provide a fairer system for medics to apply for specialty training, and to enable the best of them to become consultants quicker than the previous system.

MTAS was the computer system set up for doctors who had (a) completed their medical degrees, and (b) done 2 post-graduate years of training, to apply for further training posts where they would develop their medical skills in a particular specialty while working as doctors.

At the time they were applying the training for each doctor had cost the taxpayer approx £250K - a quarter of a million pounds.

From the start MTAS ran into difficulties. As the deadline date for submitting applications approached, the website failed due to the high numbers of applications being prepared and submitted.

Incredibly, the online application form consisted of shortlisting questions with space for 150-word answers. One of the changes promoted by the new system was that little (25%) importance was given to past experience, achievements, or examinations passed in the specialties, while the majority of the weighting for selection was based on the 150-word answers in the electronic application form (75% weighting). This was in sharp contrast to the previous CV-led process where past experience, achievements and examinations passed in the specialties were used to shortlist candidates for interview.

So you, dear taxpayer, are likely to have ended up with the applicants who were best able to spin, brag and boast rather than those who had the best experience, achievements or exam passes. Is that what you want?

On the basis of these sometimes fatuous questions - e.g. "Describe a situation where you displayed empathy" - doctors were shortlisted or not for interview for the training posts available.

Shortlisting was widely regarded as uneven and unfair, with the Tooke Report noting: "Some excellent candidates not shortlisted. Many very poor candidates were shortlisted."

And remember, many of the excellent candidates not shortlisted left the UK and went to posts in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere, taking their UK taxpayer funded training with them, costing you £250K each time.

Read more about this sorry tale on Wikipedia, under MMC and MTAS.

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Flame

So that's what MTAS stands for.

I thought it was "Make Them All Suffer", as part fo the Mangling Medical Careers programme.

oops, better be an AC here - I pay a subscription to the GMC every year. Always strikes me as odd that it costs me money for them to do nothing to me, whereas they'll strike me off for free...

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