HCSA opens strike ballot of consultant and SAS doctors

Consultant and specialist members of the Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association (HCSA) in England will formally vote on whether to strike over NHS pay.

It marks the first time in the 2022–23 NHS pay disputes that specialty and specialist doctors (SAS) will be formally balloted. It is the first time in almost a decade that HCSA consultants have considered striking.

Announcing the move to a formal ballot, HCSA President Dr Naru Narayanan said:

“HCSA is as old as the NHS itself. If consultant and SAS members vote to strike it will be for the first time in our history.

“More than a decade of real-terms pay cuts and dangerous understaffing have put our profession under threat.

“Consultants have seen their pay eroded more than any other NHS staff group. For many SAS doctors, the move to a new contract and multi-year pay deals have worsened pay erosion.

“We have reached the moment of truth. Will the government listen to the most experienced, most highly skilled professionals in our hospitals? Nothing less than the future of our NHS is at stake.”


  • The strike ballot opens on 18th October and closes on 15th November.
  • The ballot is of consultants and specialty and specialist (SAS) doctors employed by the NHS in England.
  • 2022 modelling by the Institute for Fiscal Studies found that consultants have seen their pay eroded more than any other NHS staff group.
  • Junior doctor members of HCSA in England have already walked out in several rounds of strikes, and in July voted 96.5% to continue strike action into 2024. 
  • HCSA is the trade union and professional association for hospital doctors of all grades, across the UK.

To arrange further comment or interviews, please contact 07596 860 496 / 07715 638 117 or press@hcsa.com.

Information for members:

Members will receive a paper ballot by post to the correspondence address provided to HCSA. You should return your completed ballot paper by free post to the return address.

Your completed ballot must be received by the independent scrutineer before the closing date of 12pm on 15th November for your vote to be counted.

Members can find further details in HCSA's FAQ for members.

For further advice and guidance, contact advice@hcsa.com or 01256 770999.

Consultants and SAS doctors employed by the NHS in England can join HCSA until 8th November to vote in the ballot.