HCSA warns 'fantasy' Long-Term plan won't solve big NHS crises

HCSA, the specialist association and trade union for all grades of hospital doctors, has issued the following statement on the NHS Long-Term Plan.

HCSA President Professor Ross Welch said: “This Long-Term Plan doubles the number of volunteers but not once does it set out funded plans to reduce crippling NHS staff shortages.

“The big problems Hospital Doctors face are the vacancies crisis and insufficient beds. This plan falls short of addressing either.

“It acknowledges staff shortages but skips over the destructive impact of falling real-terms pay. It mentions the desperate squeeze on hospital bed numbers but solely in terms of reducing demand and pushing more emergency cases out of hospital on the same day.

“It is a fantasy to think we will fill staffing gaps totalling one in every 10 Hospital Doctors by offering flexible hours and opportunities for training, welcome as these are.

“The elephant in the room is a 20 per cent real-terms fall in medics’ pay which has seen morale collapse, made it hard to recruit, and left our most experienced doctors eyeing an early exit.”