Junior doctors are anything but “junior”. We make a colossal contribution to patient care, going above and beyond in demanding roles. Our training can last 15 years or more.
But the job is becoming impossible. Years of pay erosion is forcing colleagues out of the NHS.
In HCSA’s 2022 survey, 29 percent of doctors said they had made definite plans to leave and the latest NHS data shows vacancies have leapt up by 20.8 percent year on year.
A four-year fixed pay deal — something HCSA opposed — has locked us, the lowest-paid doctors, out of the higher pay awards our senior colleagues have received ever since.
Meanwhile, the costs of training eat into our pay, with fees for Royal Colleges, exams and portfolios costing many hundreds a year.
We put our training on hold to support the pandemic, but many of us are now struggling to catch up — two in five of us report that we will not have sufficient competencies to CCT on our predicted date. This will have lifelong impact on our earnings.
Restoring dignity at work
We should have a right to dignity and work-life balance, but too few employers comply with guidelines to support our rotations.
Three-quarters of Junior doctors reported receiving rotas late and nearly a third of Junior doctors had less than a month’s notice of the location of the placement. All too often this leads to a last-minute scramble to arrange travel and accommodation, which impacts on our families and our wellbeing.
Rest periods and breaks are rarely adhered to, and we struggle to get the holidays we are entitled to. Two-thirds of us have missed an event of major life significance due to being unable to book leave or being on call. One HCSA member even reported taking a year out of training to guarantee they would get the days off work required for their honeymoon.
We can't afford to go on like this
Junior Doctors Deserve Better. The NHS cannot afford to continue losing us to careers abroad or outside of medicine. Our wages should not be declining year on year. That’s why HCSA Junior Doctors are campaigning for pay restoration, a new deal on training and a right to dignity and work-life balance.