HCSA launches hospital doctors' manifesto for a stable NHS

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The Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association has today thrown down the gauntlet with a manifesto call for Westminster hopefuls to heed the View from the Wards and secure a “strong and stable” NHS for the 21st century.

With the issue of NHS funding, cuts and restructuring again to the fore the HCSA’s four-point plan seeks a pledge from politicians of all hues to lift health services from the miasma of a short-term “boom and bust” financial and electoral cycle.

Within its manifesto HCSA, one of only two bodies recognised by NHS Employers to negotiate on behalf of hospital doctors of all grades, urges:


  • A cross-party commitment to tie funding, from general taxation, to a share of GDP that reflects international standards and known demographic changes and restructuring plans
  • Reverse self-defeating social care and public health and education budget cuts
  • A robust review of the £2bn a year PFI burden on hospital budgets


  • Guarantee the right to remain of EEA staff
  • End the public-sector pay freeze


  • A new national body to establish minimum staffing levels for hospital doctors to target those Trusts “running on empty” by overworking existing staff rather than recruiting
  • Compulsory national standards ending the damaging squeeze on senior doctors’ training and teaching time


  • Establish a Royal Commission with a brief to end the financial cycle of “boom and bust” and issue a detailed plan to separate health and social care planning from the “short-termist” electoral cycle
  • Give clinicians a gatekeeper role to ensure restructuring does not sacrifice patient care because of financially driven bad decisions

HCSA Chief Executive Eddie Saville said: “Hospital doctors are exhausted, demoralised and stressed due to the growing and constantly shifting demands being placed on them and their teams.

“The short-term boom and bust of both financial and political cycles are a big factor driving these problems, and over the years cost billions in aborted initiatives and restructuring.

“With thousands of hospital doctors eyeing early retirement, and bad policy impacting on front-line services, it is past time that politicians of all hues listened to the voice from the wards.

“Our manifesto represents a series of sensible steps that together will help create a strong and stable NHS fit for the 21st century.”