HCSA warns of 'catastrophic' impact on the NHS as low morale could lead to a mass exodus of experienced doctors

HCSA - the hospital doctors’ union today warned that a number of recent Government measures could result in burnt out doctors leaving the profession early, with dire implications for the NHS.

This week the Chancellor announced the lifetime allowance for doctors' pensions would be frozen and yesterday it was announced that the Government had budgeted for a pay rise of just 1 percent for NHS staff, leading to fears that declining staff morale could lead to an exodus of experienced doctors. 

  • Our research suggests the NHS can already expect a significant impact from the pandemic on career intentions, with one in 20 doctors in a recent survey stating they now planned to leave medicine as a direct result of the pandemic
  • The union has lodged a minimum pay claim of 3 percent for all medical staff for 2021-2 and 3.8 percent for Junior Doctors, whose salaries have fallen relative to more senior grades since the start of the national emergency.


HCSA President Dr Claudia Paoloni said:“The HCSA is shocked and outraged at the government's decision to budget 1 percent for NHS pay before the pay review process has even started. It makes a mockery of the process and shows total disregard for the people who have spent the past year battling Covid-19 in our hospitals.

“This shamefully out of touch pay recommendation comes in the same week the Chancellor has frozen the lifetime allowance for pensions, a move HCSA has already warned will lead to an exodus of senior Consultants.

“Even before the Chancellor’s announcement medical staff were reviewing their future, with one in 20 telling HCSA they are planning to exit the profession altogether.

“The NHS was understaffed and under resourced before the pandemic so any further loss would be catastrophic and something our health services would struggle to overcome.

 “This could not come at a worse time for an NHS reeling from a year of Covid-19 and facing a huge backlog of work. We need to retain every doctor we can."