HCSA's ruling Council has voted overwhelmingly to hold a formal industrial action ballot of junior hospital doctors in England.
The decision at a special summit follows the results of an indicative vote by members which saw an unprecedented turnout by all grades. It revealed massive support among junior doctors for industrial action in a rejection of a 2 percent pay award amid double-digit inflation.
A special dispute committee will now be convened to agree the timeline and oversee arrangements for the formal ballot. More detailed information will be shared with relevant member groups shortly.
HCSA President Dr Naru Narayanan said: "Seniors and trainees alike on our Council voted today to act on the sentiments of junior hospital doctors who have sent a clear message in support of industrial action.
“Given the strength of feeling, an industrial action ballot really was the only choice on the table. I appeal to the government to recognise this groundswell of frustration and anger. We urge it to act to rectify the appalling pay erosion for trainees to head off an avoidable dispute.
“We shall now make the necessary preparations for this ballot and shall be mobilising to ensure junior doctors participate.
“The vast majority of consultants and specialists have deep sympathy for our trainee colleagues and, should a formal ballot result in industrial action, we will be urging senior hospital doctors to support them in every way possible.”