Published: 27/05/2004, Volume II4, No. 5907 Page 22

I am an NHS management trainee, currently in my second year. I am writing to tell you some truths about the training scheme.

It apparently costs£100,000 to train an MTS trainee over the two years - this includes the costs of educational components (including travel, meals, accommodation, books and reading materials); costs of attendance at the NHS Confederation conference; subscription to a journal; loan of a laptop and printer;£150 towards book costs for educational use; and other incidental costs.

There is a lack of consistency on the scheme - some trainees have very challenging electives while others spend most of their time on the beach. There is no obligation to stay with the NHS after the scheme and indeed some people have used it as a platform to other jobs and never had any intention of working in the NHS.

Before the scheme, I was organised, efficient and highly motivated. I had always enjoyed a good relationship with my colleagues and line managers and was always dedicated to my work.

However, since joining the scheme, I have had such a negative and demoralising experience.

There is a real element of formfilling and box-ticking. For example, if you want to learn about staff management, all the scheme talks about is the assignment you need to write to prove you have done this, not about your learning or experience.

All of this worries me to the point that I am not enjoying the scheme. I do not find it challenging - in fact, I am paid to waste my time.

The placements - especially those workplaces that are not experienced with the MTS - seem to think that as long as they get a few days a week out of you and some good work, they do not really care where you are if you bunk off.

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