148 students' foundation programme allocations changed
This morning, Friday 8 March, all applicants to the Foundation Programme 2013 were able to log onto the Foundation Programme Application System (FPAS) to find out the results of the UKFPO’s re-allocation of Foundation Programme (FP) placements. This follows the errors in the scanning process of situational judgement test (SJT) papers that came to light last week.
We are relieved that 7387 (98 %) applicants’ allocations have remained unchanged. However, 148 (2 %) students’ allocations have been affected. Of those 148 students, 71 have now been placed higher up their list of foundation school preferences, with the remaining 77 moving down their list of preferences. 11 students who were originally placed on the reserve list have been told the good news that they have now been allocated a school.
However, 8 students who were originally given a place on 25 February have now been told the distressing news that they have been moved onto the reserve list. We are dismayed that these 8 students, who only last week were on the primary list, now face an anxious wait to find out where they will be placed at one of the four batch allocations from 30 April to 24 July. We are committed to ensuring that those on the reserve list receive detailed and timely information from the UKFPO and understand that the 8 students affected will be contacted by the dean at their medical school for support and assistance.
Some applicants may be delighted to hear today’s news that they now have a place at their top choice school, but others will be sorely disappointed to find that their expectation of attending a preferred school will no longer be fulfilled. 148 students must now adjust to completing the Foundation Programme at a different location to where they expected, and we know that in some cases this will be very difficult and may have financial implications where life decisions had been made after last Monday’s original allocation.
The MSC is pleased that its call for a thorough and independent review examining what went wrong has been heeded and that Health Education England (HEE) will scrutinise this year’s process in order to learn lessons for the future. We will provide HEE with our views, using all the feedback we have received from students who have contacted us about their frustrations and concerns so far. We will be working to ensure that the organisations involved learn the lessons from the scanning errors and that the process for next year’s applicants is rigorous and robust.
We have also written to Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health, expressing our deep concerns at the huge implications for students of the SJT scanning errors and asking for assurances that in future a reliable system is used to scan and record answers from the SJT papers. We have asked the government to ensure that anybody who is financially affected as a result of acting, in good faith, on the information they received about their original allocation on 25 February is compensated. It is unacceptable that these errors occurred and no student should lose out financially as a result. We are also calling for the BMA to be fully involved at all stages of the HEE review.
Although we are not able to influence Foundation Programme allocations, we would like to hear about any general concerns you may have so that we can continue to represent your views to the UKFPO and government, so please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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