New specialty recruitment system delayed

A NATIONAL system to manage UK specialty recruitment has been delayed until 2013.

The new UK Offers System (UKOFFS) has been in development since 2010 and will now not be fully implemented until next year, Medical Education England (MEE) has announced.

Pilots will run during 2012 in anaesthesia (West Midlands deanery), public health (East Midlands deanery), and neurosurgery (Yorkshire and the Humber deanery) to fully test the offers system with live data.

The UKOFFS, which is based on the NHS Education for Scotland (NES) recruitment system, aims to ensure the best possible match between junior doctors’ specialty choice and interview ranking while filling posts faster. Junior doctors will be able to accept, reject, or hold a job offer, and “upgrade” any accepted lower preference post if they receive a better offer from the same specialty.

BMA Junior Doctor Committee chair Tom Dolphin said the new approach would allow trainees to “hedge their bets” when accepting specialty training jobs. He said: “This system is good news for junior doctors in that it will maximise the number of people who get a high ranked choice on their list of preferred jobs.”

MEE plans to set up a national recruitment office to manage the UK-wide offers and acceptances system, a national central application and eligibility system, and application tracking.

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