Government’s response to the Tooke inquiry into Modernising Medical Careers

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39517.456748.80 (Published 13 March 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:571
  1. Tony Delamothe, deputy editor
  1. 1BMJ, London WC1H 9JR
  1. tdelamothe{at}bmj.com

Lacks a sense of urgency and an explicit timetable

Unhappy at the Catholic Church’s sale of indulgences, Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg. While Rome eventually responded to some of his criticisms, it did not move fast enough to stall the protestant reformation.

At first glance, Sir John Tooke has been more successful than Luther, with England’s secretary of state for health immediately agreeing to half his 47 recommendations to reform postgraduate medical education and training.1 2 3 (Responses from Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland are awaited.) However, the vagueness of the government’s timescale for implementation has left every spokesperson for the medical profession—starting with Sir John himself—unhappy. The government might want to reflect on the lessons of that church door.

Of Tooke’s 23 other recommendations, four are matters for other organisations, two are being considered as part of Lord Darzi’s next stage review of the NHS in England, and seven are consigned to the …

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