Headlines: October 25th, 2004

Smartcards are to be introduced for junior doctors and medical students in Wales to make it simpler for them to move between training posts and placements. The cards are part of a package of reforms in postgraduate medical education and training.Welsh Assembly Health Minister Jane Hutt said the introduction of the occupational health Smartcards would help save time for both students on training placements and administrative staff who arranged the placements.

The cards will securely hold all occupational health and human resource information for medical students and junior doctors who will be able to take the cards with them as they move between training posts and placements. It will be possible to read the cards electronically and to update them as students and doctors move from health trust to health trust. This will save time spent on form filling and questionnaires.

The project, which is being funded by the Welsh Assembly Government, will begin next year initially providing the cards to student and junior doctors but it is hoped to expand the scheme across all the Medical professions including those working in Primary Care.

Jane Hutt said she hoped the cards would strengthen and streamline pre-appointment and pre-employment checks and save both time and effort for students and the NHS Trusts.