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The foundation programme for 2014 is oversubscribed by 293 students, according to figures released today.
The UKFPO (UK Foundation Programme Office) first announced there were more applicants than places in October last year but has only just released the exact numbers involved.
All applicants will now be ranked in order of their foundation programme application scores and the top 7,589 will each be allocated a foundation school on March 10.
The 293 will be placed on a reserve list, with the UKFPO assigning places in batches — the dates of which it says will be published on its website shortly.
The figure is similar to 2013, when 298 final years were placed on the reserve list. All students that year were eventually given places when the Department of Health created extra capacity in the system, following BMA lobbying.
However, some were only placed the month before the start of the programme in August and there is no guarantee that all students will be accommodated this year.
UKFPO national director Derek Gallen said: ‘Despite the programme being oversubscribed again, I would like to reassure applicants that we are in a better position at this stage in the process than last year.
‘I am confident that, as has been the case since the programme was first oversubscribed, all eligible applicants will be placed in jobs by the start of the programme in August.’
BMA medical students committee co-chair Harrison Carter said he was reassured by Professor Gallen's comment that he expected all eligible applicants to be placed in 2014.
But he added: ‘The continued oversubscription of the foundation programme remains a huge concern to the BMA and we hope that a long-term solution will be agreed soon that ensures all eligible UK medical graduates can enter training programmes in the NHS.’
It is interesting to note that while still oversubscribed, the number of applicants oversubscribed is similar to last year, despite an increase in overall applicants since 2013. I hope those 293 applicants will be found jobs before August.