NHS pay offer ‘an insult to junior doctors’ which misjudges the threat of a post-Covid staffing crisis

HCSA - the hospital doctors’ union will meet in emergency session to discuss its response to a government pay offer for medical staff which excludes Junior Doctors.

The union's Council will meet following an offer of 3 percent for Consultant grades which leaves lower-paid doctors falling behind for the third year in a row.

HCSA President Dr Claudia Paoloni said: “This offer represents an improvement on the low bar the government itself set earlier in the year, but is an insult to junior doctors who have once again received a lesser rise than their senior colleagues.

“These are doctors who have stood side by side with NHS colleagues in mounting the Covid response, rising to every challenge placed before them. These Consultants of the future will rightly feel aggrieved that once again they have been singled out for worse treatment, ignoring their efforts during this pandemic.

“We fear that given rampant inflation this offer will also be insufficient to address the looming impact on career choices among all grades after the long battle against Covid, which has caused many hospital doctors to reconsider their future, either by cutting hours or leaving the profession altogether. One in 10 are considering leaving permanently.

“We have been warning for months that without a meaningful approach which aims to reverse the 30 percent cut to real-terms pay over the past decade, the NHS is on the brink of a disastrous exodus among medical staff who have simply had enough.

“NHS hospital doctors have moved Heaven and Earth over the past 16 months to treat Covid patients and now face a battle on two fronts to deal with the latest upsurge in cases and bring down waiting lists. The government seems unable to recognise the scale of the staffing crisis the NHS will soon face.

“The HCSA Council shall now meet in emergency session to consider our next steps.”