Half of jobless trainees find a post

MORE than half of junior doctors who weren't allocated a foundation job have now been found one.

A total of 180 applicants failed to secure a 2011 training place when they were allocated due to a rise in demand. They were put on a reserve list in December and the first 104 of them have now been given places that will start in August. Most of these doctors were given posts that were left vacant when successful candidates pulled out of the programme.

But uncertainty remains for 69 trainees who are still on the reserve list. The UK Foundation Programme Office (UKFPO) has pledged to find them a place “by early July”. The other seven applicants from the original reserve list were withdrawn from the process before the first batch allocation.

The second batch allocation is scheduled for May 26 when the UKFPO predicts it will find places for 30 to 50 more trainees. The final trainees will be given posts on June 15 and July 4. The UKFPO said it did not expect the final batch allocation date of July 22 would be required.

The UKFPO’s national director Professor Derek Gallen said: “I am pleased that so many applicants have been placed during this first allocation, but understand that it is still a difficult time for those who have not yet been allocated to a foundation school. The good news is that we are predicting that the whole of the reserve list will be allocated by early July.”

The allocation process forms part of the UKFPO’s contingency plan for oversubscription which was announced in November 2010 when the organisation predicted there would not be enough training places. In December 2010, 7073 applicants were allocated posts for 2011, but two per cent (180) were unsuccessful. The shortfall was blamed on an unexpectedly high number of applications from abroad.

Those on the reserve list who have the highest Foundation Programme Application Service scores are being offered places first.

For more information, visit the UKFPO website