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Southport Reporter® covering the news on Merseyside.

Date:- 19 March 2007

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Second opportunity for junior doctors

THE independent review group, examining the selection process for junior doctors, met for the third time and agreed that round one should continue and that changes should be made to strengthen the implementation process at each level. The group agreed to set out full details next week for everyone involved in the process.

The review group considered a wide range of evidence and listened carefully to the concerns of the profession and NHS employers. The group is led by Professor Neil Douglas and was set up by the Department of Health on 6 March  2007 to examine what improvements needed to be made to the new MMC selection process for doctors applying for consultancy training posts.

The group made the following recommendations:-

All eligible ST3 and 4 applicants will be guaranteed an interview for their first or second choice of training post. (This includes those who have been offered only their third or fourth choice at the moment).

All applicants at ST1 who have not been short-listed for any interviews will have their application reviewed. The operational details of this will be set out next week. However, where candidates meet the selection criteria they may be offered an interview in Round 1. If not, they will be offered career guidance and support to enter Round 2.

All applicants for ST2 who have not been short-listed for interview will be offered a face-to-face review with a trained medical advisor to determine whether they meet the short-listing criteria. Those who meet the criteria may be offered an interview in Round 1. Those who are not selected for interview will be offered career guidance and support to enter Round 2.

Deaneries across England have said that they have already interviewed many excellent doctors and that
the new system is an improvement on the less structured nature of the old system. The GP recruitment continues to work very well with a record number of GPs being recruited into the NHS.

Health Minister Lord Hunt said:- "The recruitment process needs to transparent and fair so that we can get the best doctors trained and be supervised to the very highest standards. I am very grateful for the hard work and cooperation between the review group, the Royal Colleges and the MMC team on some very complex issues.

These recommendations are seen as a significant improvement to the process and will mean over five thousand more doctors will be interviewed and considered for selection.

Consultancy posts are much sought after which is why we have more applicants than posts. This will lead to some young doctors being disappointed they can't specialise in their first choice but this has always been the case. The NHS still needs doctors and they have vital skills that can be put to good use elsewhere."

Britain's Best Park?

ORGANISERS of the annual Britain's Best Park competition are encouraging even more citizens of the north west to nominate their favourite open space as the search continues for the best public park in the UK.

Briggs & Stratton, the manufacturer of petrol lawnmower engines and sponsor of the competition, are keen to reward and highlight spaces that are enjoyed regularly by those in the north west and have upped the ante by offering a top of the range Snapper SGT 600 Series Diesel Tractor / Mower worth £9000 to the winning park.

The competition is part of an EU wide initiative where the winning park, chosen by an eminent judging panel of gardening experts will go forward to represent the UK against Germany, France, Sweden and Italy for the title of Europe's Best Park.

National sales manager at Briggs & Stratton, Ian Small, said:- "This year we have increased our prize and we're offering a top of the range Snapper model because of its suitability for even the largest estates. We feel passionately that public spaces are an integral part of any community and should be recognised as such. The competition is open to all, regardless of the size of space and we're particularly looking for those 'well kept secrets'; places where people enjoy walks and picnics, as well as parks that host community events."

If you feel your local park is the most attractive, well maintained, accessible and community-friendly public spaces in the country nominate it by visiting and fill in the entry form. Alternatively contact 01332 372196 and one will be sent to you. The closing date for entries is 25 May 2007.

Policing... Have your say!

THE Sefton community police forum will be held on 19 March 2007 from 7:30pm at the Formby High School, Sixth Form Centre on Freshfield Road, Formby. For more information please ring 0151 236 4748 extension 2383 or 2384. This is your opportunity to meet the local police and discuss issues of mutual concern. Anyone can attend; you do not need an invitation.

Southport Health & Beauty Show 2007!

THE Prince of Wales on Lord Street in Southport, on 29 April 2007, will play host to over 40 exhibitors at the show, offering health and beauty advice, procedures and products all in aid of the Vitalise charity, also known as Ellerslie Court and Sandpipers.   The event will have many fantastic prizes on offer as well as a charity raffle.  Admission only £2.00 per adult and free to under 14's. 

For more information log onto or call 01704 380197.  You can also email the event organizer at:-

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