Module Leader: Dr. Leonidas Efthymiou
Task: Read the short case and answer all 4 questions
MMC: Money down the drain or failed HRM?
‘Modernising Medical Careers’ (MMC) is an online programme for postgraduate medical training introduced in the UK from 2005 onwards. IT was devised and implemented by a think tank at the central policy offices of the National Health Service (NHS). For many years there have been concerns about the UK medical workforce, in particular the postgraduate medical training system. The most prominent of these centred on the poor training and indifferent career prospects experienced by some doctors at Senior House Officer (SHO) level and by many of those in Staff Grade and Associate Specialist (SAS) posts (online at:http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200708/cmselect/cmhealth/25/25i.pdf).
Therefore, the Modernising Medical Careers (MMC) programme of work was established in 2003 to address these difficulties. In this line, MMC was intended to ‘improve patient care by improving medical education with a transparent and efficient career path for doctors’.
More specifically, ‘Modernising Medical Careers’ is an online lob application system for junior doctors. Rather than writing to hospitals for their first job appointment, junior doctors fill in a website based questionnaire and application form. Also, completion of the questionnaire and application form gives a point score; and from this decisions are made anonymously by a centrally based HR and jobs offers system.
The system, however, has been dogged by criticism within and outside the medical profession. As it quickly became apparent that the database itself was not secure, this has led to controversy and allegations made by students that their applications had been tampered with or altered. There was no guarantee either of the integrity of the form completion process and in many cases, forms that had been fully filled in were incomplete when they were downloaded by prospective employers. Also, the application process has had technical problems and was criticised over the weighting and marking of the applications, with one London training school calling it “unfair and ineffective” in resigning from the process.
Also, the House of Commons Health Select Committee published a report into the Government’s handling of the Modernising Medical Careers (MMC) reforms on 8 May 2008. The report was highly critical of the way in which the reforms were managed, highlighting failings in leadership, governance and policy development. The inquiry exposed serious problems with the management of MMC reforms, and particularly the introduction of the Medical Training application Service (MTAS). The Committee criticised the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for a lack of leadership and the medical profession for the lack of a coherent voice. MPs also found co-ordination between the Department of Health (DH) and the Home Office ‘inadequate’ in handling attempts to restrict medical migration.
To the worst, as it was perceived sufficiently poorly within the medical profession, its implementation was ultimately boycotted by senior doctors around the UK.
Answer all 4 Questions
- 1) Search the MMC in the internet and provide a brief description of its HRM strategy and practices.(Weighting: 25%) (Wordage: 1000)
- 2) What factors and practices do you believe are important in explaining the failure of MMC from a Human Resource Management Perspective?(Weighting: 25%) (Wordage: 1000)
- 3) What HRM strategies would you recommend for this organization? Why have you chosen them?(Weighting: 25%) (Wordage: 1000)
- 4) What HRM policies and practices would you suggest towards improving the function and publicity of MMC?(Weighting: 25%) (Wordage: 1000)(Total Weighting: 100%) (Total Wordage: 1000)