Trainees will now find it easier to transfer to posts in other parts of the country after the BMA junior doctors committee secured a series of measures.
Junior doctors can now apply for inter-deanery transfers (IDTs) as soon as they are offered specialty trainee posts, as opposed to the previous arrangements where applications could only be submitted nine months after being appointed to a post.
Applicants will still be required to make their case for transfers. Priority is given to those with disabilities. Unsuccessful applicants will also now be put on a waiting list for places in regions to which they want to transfer. If a vacancy becomes available after an offer round, it can later be allocated to an applicant who had put it down as a preference.
Trainees in Scotland will also be able to apply for transfers when they receive an annual review of competence progression outcome rating of one or two, whereas previously a rating of one was required. Trainees in England can apply for transfers with outcome ratings of one, two or three. Those in Wales and Northern Ireland will still require a rating of one.
Sarah Hallett, deputy chair of the BMA junior doctors committee, said: “The IDT system is an important lifeline for many trainees whose circumstances change during their training programmes, meaning a move between regions is necessary. Central coordination had helped to remove some of the variations in this process, but a number of barriers had still caused issues for many junior doctors.
‘It’s welcome that some of the arbitrary restrictions on transfers have now been abolished. But there is still a way to go. We will continue to press for a fairer, more accessible, and flexible transfer process across the UK,” she said.