Hundreds of doctors working tirelessly on the Covid frontline will be denied jobs under an NHS training scheme from August, it has been reported.
One junior doctor called it a “slap in the face” after the difficulties of the last year and having given up so much during the pandemic.
Almost 700 anaesthetists are said to have been dropped from the NHS training scheme and cannot progress in their careers due to a lack of places.
One junior doctor reportedly listed dozens of jobs across the country he would have considered moving to, but had been rejected for them all, despite ranking in the top third of candidates nationwide.
He told The Independent the news was a “slap in the face” after the past year and that he felt “let down” after giving so much during the pandemic.
According to the Royal College of Anaesthetists, the most recent round of recruitment saw a record number of applicants.
There were 2,046 at “core trainee” level and 1,056 doctors applying to continue training as anaesthetists following their initial years in the NHS.
But there were only 359 posts available which left nearly 700 applicants unsuccessful.
The College said: “Due to the competition for each post, the College acknowledges that there will be a large number of applicants who will be disappointed by the news of not receiving an offer in this round.
“We also recognise the extremely difficult period that doctors in training have been going through since COVID-19 emerged, whilst being redeployed and continuing their training.
“And we should remember that doctors in training remain central to addressing not only the NHS’ response to the pandemic, but also to the ongoing recovery and clearance of the backlog.”
One of the doctors affected told The Independent the past year had been “immensely difficult, proper war zone stuff”, adding: “Months and months of training have been taken away from me. We had to do it, but also the NHS asked us to do it and now it’s like, ‘Thanks very much, you don’t get a job.’ It’s like a real slap in the face.”
The doctor, who reportedly worked across several London hospitals during the crisis, added: “I remember going into work and having to make critical decisions on just one hour’s sleep.
“I feel like they can’t keep taking from us. I’ve lost all that time training, months and months of revision, and I’m not going to get that back; my wife isn’t going to get that back. It’s just constantly taking the best years of our life and I feel they’ve not held up their end of the bargain.
“I love my job, but it feels like the bodies that govern and support us as trainees are doing everything they can to take that love away by putting us in positions like this.”