Modernising Medical Careers
Opposition Day — [9th Allotted Day]
Andy Burnham (Minister of State (Delivery and Quality), Department of Health; Leigh, Labour)
I was coming to that point, but first I wanted to do justice to the excellent and thoughtful speech made by my hon. Friend Mr. Kidney, as well as to other points that were raised. The shadow Secretary of State makes an important point—that we must do what we can to ensure that help and support is available for doctors displaced this year. Of course, they will be able to apply in future rounds in future years, even if they are applying from a non-training or staff grade post.
There is much more we can do this year. We are working with the service to maximise the number of job opportunities available in and leading up to the end of the 2007 recruitment round. We will invite any displaced doctors to register on NHS Jobs and NHS Professionals so that they can quickly and efficiently be matched to the vacancies that will continue to emerge, to training posts and to locum appointments, as was always the case. Posts will become available in any normal year.
We will work with the postgraduate deaneries to maximise the number of training opportunities available within the overall number of job opportunities. In particular, we will undertake urgent work with the medical royal colleges and the service to establish the need for additional training posts. We will ensure that doctors who take up jobs in service grade posts continue to have support to ensure that the training and development opportunities in those posts are maximised. Those unsuccessful this year will be able to reapply next year. They will also be able to apply for posts that emerge, as they always have, through the course of the year. I am glad that the shadow Secretary of State raised that issue because I am pleased to put that point on the record.
I fear that I cannot do justice to all the sensible points that were made in the debate in the time that I have left. I conclude by saying that we recognise the anxiety that this year's round has caused. We have not sought to dismiss it; we have sought to engage with it and come up with solutions to give people real answers to the difficulties in which they find themselves. Implementing quickly the recommendations of the review group will further help the position that people find themselves in and, crucially, will give support to people who have been displaced by the process and will help to enable them to progress their careers as they had hoped to do.
I am grateful to colleagues for their contributions to the debate. I hope that we can agree a measure of consensus that will provide a good, workable training system for the NHS that will stand us in good stead for many years to come.
Question put, That the original words stand part of the Question:—