President urges vigilance over impact of sweeping workforce changes

HCSA President Dr Naru Naryanan has said doctors must remain vigilant over the impact of sweeping changes to the shape of hospital workforces currently being drawn up by the NHS in England.

He spoke after leading an HCSA delegation of junior and consultant doctors who met with Health Education England Medical Director Professor Wendy Reid to address a wide range of issues on behalf of members.

The impending workforce plan, the role of associate professionals and new apprenticeships were all on the agenda with HEE pledging to involve the association in future work. HEE will merge into NHS England in the next year, but its projects will continue.

HCSA pressed home hospital doctors’ concerns over the potential impact of plans which will see a greater future emphasis on non-medical associates. Junior doctors have voiced fears that their arrival will be detrimental to the training of medical trainees.

Following the meeting Dr Narayanan said: “It is clear that the current direction of travel among policy-makers means the profession must prepare for wide-ranging changes to staffing make-up and the future shape of medicine.

“Many of these changes are well-intended or a reflection of resource constraints across the health system, but we must remain vigilant to ensure that their impact does not undermine the training and supply of doctors and really does deliver for the NHS.

“HCSA and our Junior Doctor committee shall be closely monitoring developments and will continue to engage with NHS England as we seek answers to members’ concerns. It’s essential to ensure that the profession is heard.”