148 new doctors affected by “unacceptable” failures of UKFPO


Doctor and medical student leaders’ have called for immediate support for the 148 medical students who have had their first scheduled job suddenly changed following failures in this year’s application process.

148 final year medical students will be starting their first job as a doctor in a different part of the country following the rechecking of thousands of applications to this year’s Foundation Programme by the UK Foundation Programme Office (UKFPO).

Eight students have been informed that they no longer have a firm job offer and instead will be placed on the Foundation Programme reserve list.

“It is unacceptable that 148 medical students have had their first job as a junior doctor suddenly changed because of a chaotic failure in this year’s application process,” said William Seligman, Co-Chair of the BMA’s Medical Students Committee.

“In many cases, medical graduates will now find themselves in a completely different part of the country to where they were allocated a job less than two weeks ago.”

The mass rechecking exercise occurred after the UKFPO and the Medical Schools Council found that errors had emerged in a machine-marking scanning system used to grade a multiple choice exam which is used as part of the allocation process. This was discovered just a day after more than 7,200 final year UK medical students were told where their first job would be.

The BMA has stated that it will be writing to the Secretary of State to express concerns about how the situation was allowed to develop. It also says the UKFPO must stick to its pledge to conduct an “immediate, independent review of the application process and guarantee that the findings will be published in full”.

“The UKFPO must ensure that students are offered proper support during this period, especially any who may have lost out financially. Students must not be left with the bill for broken flatshare agreements or other commitments that they have incurred through no fault of their own,” said Seligman.