Fees waived for ST3 error trainees

Junior doctors affected by the ST3 scoring error will see their JRCPTB (Joint Royal Colleges of Physicians Training Board) enrolment fees waived as a gesture of goodwill by the Royal College of Physicians, following discussions with the BMA.

These errors, which impacted the scores and ranking of doctors applying for ST3 posts, led to the BMA and RCP holding urgent talks to try to rectify the situation. The BMA also provided support to members affected by the error, which took place in early May.

In an email sent out to all those affected yesterday, RCP president Jane Dacre and RCP registrar Andrew Goddard expressed their sincere apologies for the error. The college confirmed in the same email that all doctors who had received an offer the first time around will now have received an offer again.

A technical error in the processing of scores to ST3 medical specialties coordinated by the RCP last month saw a significant number of doctors receive an incorrect final total. As a result, the college had to withdraw all offers made and rerun the entire allocation process with the corrected scores.

In addition to their decision to waive the JRCPTB fee, doctors will also be entitled to attend an RCP event of their choice free of charge.

BMA junior doctors committee chair Jeeves Wijesuriya said that while the errors around ST3 scoring had been a considerable source of stress for many doctors, the timely response of the RCP, BMA and others had been effective in assisting those affected.

He said: ‘One month ago an error in the ST3 recruitment was made, causing anxiety and distress for approximately 1,000 trainees for whom the process would have to be re-run.

‘We can now confirm, following work between ourselves, health education bodies and the Royal College of Physicians and their trainee committee, all trainees who received a job offer the first time the process was run have now received an offer again.

‘In addition, 39 people who did not receive an offer the first time around, but should have done based on their true ranking, did so this time.’

Dr Wijesuriya confirmed that the BMA will be involved in a review of the application process, in an effort to prevent similar incidents occurring in future.

He said: ‘We are pleased to have worked collaboratively with the Royal College of Physicians and their team, who throughout this process have had the care of their trainees foremost in their minds.

‘We know that this has caused a great degree of stress but we hope that this goes some way toward resolving this issue and apologising for the anxiety caused.’

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