This election comes at a critical time for hospital doctors and the NHS as a whole.
We face the rising pressures built up over a decade of underfunding. Many of us work in inadequate buildings with insufficient functioning equipment, as maintenance backlogs mushroom.
Staffing shortages are placing increasing strain on our workforces, who must deal with ever greater caseloads. At the same time, doctors’ pay has flatlined and the failure to listen on the pensions tax crisis is leading to what could now be permanent change in the behaviour of doctors.
There is no quick fix for these challenges – though a reversal of the squeeze on budgets will undoubtedly assist.
It would be churlish not to welcome the growing consensus around greater NHS funding, or cautiously greet a unanimous pledge by the main political parties that the pensions tax issue will be tackled, even if they fail to reveal how they would do so.
Equally, though, it is striking that there is no mention of the hospital doctor shortage in these manifestos: and this goes to show how much work we must do to ensure that this message gets through.
We are determined not to allow our profession’s issues to be relegated amid calls for action on GPs and other health professions, important though they are.
So this election provides a crucial opportunity to coalesce around the things which matter to our profession and to propose our own solutions to the challenges which we face.
This short document is intended to do just that: to highlight HCSA’s view of the current landscape facing our profession, but also to act as a yardstick by which the political parties’ manifesto pledges, also detailed here, can be measured.
HCSA is not aligned to any political party. We are accountable purely to our hospital doctor members, and act only on their behalf.
Rest assured, then, that we shall continue to hold both politicians and employers to deliver on their promises whatever we face come December 13th. You deserve no less.