HCSA steps up pay campaign: Doctors Deserve Better

HCSA has today stepped up its pressure for meaningful action on hospital doctors’ pay with the launch of a video campaign featuring front-line medics explaining why Doctors Deserve Better.

It follows the government’s indication that it has budgeted for just a 1 percent pay rise for medical staff, a position which HCSA has warned will encourage an exodus of our most experienced doctors after a gruelling year tackling the Covid pandemic.

The first video features Vivek, an anaesthetic trainee working in Emergency Medicine. Vivek has personal experiences of colleagues leaving NHS, “whether they are leaving to go abroad or whether they are staying within the UK, but going to the private sector or leaving medicine altogether.

He adds: "There’s a number of factors that are that are driving this - and pay is definitely one of them”.

The latest phase in the Doctors Deserve Better campaign comes after HCSA research revealing the dangerous impact of years of real-terms pay cuts.

It showed that one in five hospital doctors had made plans to leave the health service, with “not feeling valued within the NHS” the most common reason.

Meanwhile, nearly two-thirds (63.9%) of hospital doctors responding to the annual HCSA survey said they felt unreasonably stressed at work half the time or more, up 5 percentage points in a year.

Members and supporters of HCSA are coming together to build the Doctors Deserve Better campaign which will draw attention to the impact of pay on recruitment and retention within the sector.

HCSA President Dr Claudia Paoloni said: “Understaffing is not a new problem. Historic staffing shortages created a perfect storm during the Covid-19 pandemic which has left the NHS struggling to maintain services.

“The past year has not just seen some doctors delaying decisions to leave, building up a bigger problem in coming months, but also led to huge trauma and distress within the profession. Members tell us that the net result is that they are now eyeing the exit door.

“Pay is one of the key mechanisms at our disposal to try to avert this impending disaster for the health service at a time when it faces record elective waiting lists.

“We need to see real, meaningful action on pay to make up for the 30 percent plunge in wages since 2010. A token rise will send the message that NHS staff don’t matter and merely serve to hasten the rate of departure by a workforce which feels undervalued, overworked and which in many cases is hanging on by a thread.

Hospital doctors need a louder voice – sign up to support the Doctors Deserve Better campaign today.

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