A House of Lords committee has condemned the decision to subject clinical medicine departments to two separate research assessment exercises: the new National Health Service assessment of major university hospitals and the Higher Education Funding Council assessment of universities.
The Select Committee on Science and Technology said that the decision by the HEFCs and the NHS Research and Development Directorate not to integrate the two assessments "fills our witnesses with a dismay which we fully share".
The report, published yesterday, says: "(They) have discussed the scope for integrating and have concluded that it cannot be done. This is not good enough; if the creative thinkers in clinical departments are to have time to think, the two exercises must be integrated, and we do not believe that devising a means of doing so is beyond the wit of the two great departments of state responsible."
The committee also called for an urgent inquiry into the unpopularity of academic medical careers.
Medical Research and the NHS Reforms, HMSO, Pounds 18.