The government sidelined two top medical advisers to rush through the doomed online recruitment system for junior doctors, MPs were told last week.
Professor Alan Crockard, former director of the Modernising Medical Careers system, and Professor Shelley Heard, former national clinical adviser to MMC, told the Commons health select committee they were called 'difficult' and ignored when they raised fears about the Medical Training Application Service. Introduced this year, it was undermined by security breaches and criticisms that it failed to pick out the best candidates. The crisis left 30,000 doctors chasing 23,000 jobs this summer.
Professor Crockard said: 'It was clear that the DoH had decided that e-recruitment was something they were going for in a big way and weren't going to allow anything to get in their way.'
The Department of Health has blamed the surplus of applicants on thousands of international medical graduates competing for jobs.
But Professor Crockard said he warned the DoH in February 2006 that there would be a problem. He and Professor Heard resigned in spring 2007, saying the original principles of MMC had been lost.
Professor Heard said: 'Early on, I was contacted by the chair of the conference of postgraduate medical deans to say there were concerns I was being difficult about things.'
Other problems included a lack of communication and agreement about the programme within the DoH, she said.