Doctors: Recruitment

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 8th October 2019.

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Photo of Lord Hunt of Kings Heath Lord Hunt of Kings Heath Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to encourage NHS employers to introduce flexibility in recruitment procedures for doctors so that junior doctors on training programmes abroad, including the diploma in tropical medicine, do not have to fly back for interviews during their period abroad.

Photo of Lord Hunt of Kings Heath Lord Hunt of Kings Heath Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether junior doctors who are on training programmes abroad and have been invited to interview by the NHS can submit their portfolios electronically and conduct interviews by Skype.

Photo of Baroness Blackwood of North Oxford Baroness Blackwood of North Oxford The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

The Enhancing Junior Doctors’ Working Lives programme was established by Health Education England in March 2016, to improve the quality of life of doctors in training. This programme includes a specific workstream to make the recruitment process and subsequent deployment to training programmes more flexible for trainees applying from the United Kingdom and abroad.

Specialty courses who use the Multi-Specialty Recruitment Assessment (MSRA) as part of their selection process allow the test to be taken overseas, reducing the need to travel to the UK. For general practice and core psychiatry, applicants who reach the bypass score in the MSRA will progress directly to the offers stage, without the need to attend a selection centre.

HEE is in the process of re-developing its digital Oriel recruitment system for the 2021 recruitment round, which will go live in June 2020 and an electronic interface with e-portfolios has been proposed. Royal Colleges are each responsible for their own portfolio.

At present, HEE does not support Skype interviews of doctors in training as part of national selection due to a number of difficulties it would give recruiters and assessors, including verification of identity, replication of national processes and invigilation. Skype interviews are available for applicants with specific health requirements who are unable to travel.

Individual trusts are responsible for setting the application and recruitment processes to positions within that trust.

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