Published: 19/08/2004, Volume II4, No. 5919 Page 27

City Hospitals Sunderland trust has introduced a new system to recruit accident and emergency senior house officers online.A website was developed to allow prospective employees to view the A&E department, with the emphasis on a simple, clear layout without too many graphics.

It included application forms and job descriptions.All material was written for the website in HTML using Microsoft Word 97, then published on the site via a process called FTP.

The job application form was in a variety of formats for downloading.Website development took no more than 12 hours.

A survey last year showed that of 89 applicants,69 visited the website, from where 62 obtained the application form.

Feedback from both the medical personnel and the A&E staff involved in short-listing and interviewing was also positive.

The standardised layout of the forms made for easier assessment.

The electronic residency application system in the US allows a computerised application to most residencies.As most junior doctors move between jobs at regular intervals, a co-ordinated approach to recruitment can offer many benefits.

ERAS allows applicants to complete just one application for all positions for all employers.

It has recently moved to an internetbased format. Integrated medical recruitment may be some way off in the UK, but it is technically possible.