The Conservatives have accused the government of incompetence following news that there will be three applications for every training place for junior doctors this year.

Shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley said: 'The government ignored the chaos facing junior doctors last year.

'By burying their head in the sand they have now allowed the problem to mushroom to the extent that even more junior doctors will be applying for posts. How could they get it so wrong again and is there no end to such incompetence?'

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