Chief executive's notes: Business as usual, SPA time survey, partnership, equalities

HCSA General Secretary Eddie Saville casts his eye over some of the latest issues

Business as usual
The past couple of months have been filled with political upheaval and change. However, our work to represent and advise our members goes on as usual.

Whether it is advice on a job plan that seems out of kilter, or an issue around conduct or behaviour, our members can rest assured that we have the expertise to provide the support needed.

We can sometimes forget that it is this reassuring HCSA presence that means so much when there is a difficulty at work. So, if you get the chance, tell your colleagues about the strengths of being an HCSA member.

We need you to tell us about SPA time
The HCSA delegation to this year’s TUC conference will be myself and executive member Dr Paul Donaldson.

Our two motions this year focus on shortages of hospital consultants, and the impact this has on the system and its finances, and the continuous squeeze on SPA time.

On this latter issue we have recently sent out a survey where we have asked you to tell us about your experiences with regards SPA time. If you haven’t already completed the survey please do so as soon as possible.

Social Partnership deal
I am pleased to report that on 8th July, a refreshed Social Partnership Forum (SPF) Partnership Agreement was published.

The new agreement sets out the framework through which the partners commit to work collectively to tackle the biggest healthcare priorities and challenges.

It now includes NHS England, Health Education England and NHS Improvement alongside the historic partners – the Department of Health, NHS Employers, and all the NHS trade unions including HCSA.

For further information on the agreement and other issues on the SPF agenda, visit

Mixed picture on equality
The NHS Staff Council, which HCSA attends, received a report recently on the work of the Workforce Race Equality Standards.

The study considered four indicators across acute trusts, ambulance trusts, community provider trusts, and mental health and learning disability trusts.

The results showed a mixed picture across the health service, with some trusts making progress. Others, however, still have a considerable way to go.