The House of Commons Health Select Committee has issued a damning report on the 2007 Modernising Medical Careers (MMC) programme for junior doctors’ training. MPs on the committee have condemned “inadequate leadership by the Department of Health” in their report, and warn that the problems remain “unresolved”.

The report concludes that “the management of the introduction of MMC by the Department of Health was inept. Key policy decisions and the processes for making and documenting them were ineffective and the medical profession, while frequently consulted, rarely influenced critical decisions … The leadership shown by the Department of Health during this period was totally inadequate.”

Sir John Tooke’s Review of MMC issued a report on MMC in January 2008, and the Select Committee has broadly agreed with Tooke’s conclusions. However, they dispute Tooke’s suggestion of creating a new arms’ length body NHS Medical Education England to oversee medical training. The Select Committee warn that this would be “expensive and time-consuming”. Likewise they do not endorse his suggestion of ‘core’ and ‘higher’ training schemes

CMO overboard?
Although committee members were keen to emphasise that they were not calling for the resignation of Chief Medical Officer Sir Liam Donaldson, the report is scathing. “the CMO, despite being the chief architect of the reforms, did not take responsibility for the 2007 crisis”. It further states that “the confidence ofg the medical profession in the CMO has been seriously damaged by MMC”.

Nor is the medical profession spared: “often more concerned by factional interests than by the common good”. Committee chair Kevin Barron and independent MP for Wyre Forest Dr Richard Taylor both pointed to the lack of common leadership by the fragmented medical profession, and called for the “weak and tokenistic” Association of Royal Medical Colleges to be replaced by an executive body with authority to make decisions.

BMA: ‘we told you so’
The BMA welcomed the report as “a damning indictment of the government’s failure to listen to doctors” and points out that they called for the system to be delayed “as far back as June 2006”.

Dr Hamish Meldrum, Chairman of the BMA, said,

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The House of Commons Health Select Committee has issued a damning report on the 2007 Modernising Medical Careers (MMC) programme for junior doctors’ training. MPs on the committee have condemned “inadequate leadership by the Department of Health” in their report, and warn that the problems remain “unresolved”.

The report concludes that “the management of the introduction of MMC by the Department of Health was inept. Key policy decisions and the processes for making and documenting them were ineffective and the medical profession, while frequently consulted, rarely influenced critical decisions … The leadership shown by the Department of Health during this period was totally inadequate.”

Sir John Tooke’s Review of MMC issued a report on MMC in January 2008, and the Select Committee has broadly agreed with Tooke’s conclusions. However, they dispute Tooke’s suggestion of creating a new arms’ length body NHS Medical Education England to oversee medical training. The Select Committee warn that this would be “expensive and time-consuming”. Likewise they do not endorse his suggestion of ‘core’ and ‘higher’ training schemes

CMO overboard?
Although committee members were keen to emphasise that they were not calling for the resignation of Chief Medical Officer Sir Liam Donaldson, the report is scathing. “the CMO, despite being the chief architect of the reforms, did not take responsibility for the 2007 crisis”. It further states that “the confidence ofg the medical profession in the CMO has been seriously damaged by MMC”.

Nor is the medical profession spared: “often more concerned by factional interests than by the common good”. Committee chair Kevin Barron and independent MP for Wyre Forest Dr Richard Taylor both pointed to the lack of common leadership by the fragmented medical profession, and called for the “weak and tokenistic” Association of Royal Medical Colleges to be replaced by an executive body with authority to make decisions.

BMA: ‘we told you so’
The BMA welcomed the report as “a damning indictment of the government’s failure to listen to doctors” and points out that they called for the system to be delayed “as far back as June 2006”.

Dr Hamish Meldrum, Chairman of the BMA, sa