Almost half of hospital doctors are planning to leave the NHS in the next year, putting the health service at risk of a “complete collapse”, according to a survey by the British Medical Association (BMA).
The BMA survey, of over 7,700 hospital consultants in England, found that 44 per cent of them were planning to leave.
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They said they were planning to take voluntary retirement, take a career break or enter the private sector.
MSN reports: Dr Vishal Sharma, chair of the BMA consultants committee, said the figures make for “extremely grim reading” and without action “the NHS is in danger of complete collapse”.
“The NHS is already at breaking point and cannot afford to lose any of its staff, never mind facing the prospect of losing nearly half of its most senior doctors,” he said.
The doctors’ union has called for the Government to take urgent action to address pay, pension arrangements and working conditions.
Therese Coffey, the Health Secretary, announced changes to the NHS pension rules last month to retain more experienced staff and remove barriers for retired staff returning to work.
But the BMA says the changes do not go far enough and offer “sticking plasters and not the long-term fix that the NHS desperately needs”.
‘Goodwill of NHS staff has all but dried up’
In this latest survey, consultants were asked what actions they intended to take within the next 12 months in response to pay and current tax arrangements.
ome 44 per cent selected one or more options from a list of actions which all involve leaving the NHS in some form, including taking retirement at pension age, taking voluntary early retirement, a career break, or leaving medicine altogether.
Some 90 per cent of NHS consultants reported this year’s pay uplift of 4.5 per cent, according to a separate survey carried out by BMA earlier this year.
Dr Sharma added: “The goodwill of staff upon which the NHS depends has all but dried up. Without immediate action, the NHS is in danger of complete collapse.
“This is not the NHS that our patients deserve or that our staff signed up to work in. The NHS is at breaking point and unless the Government acts it will collapse completely.
“We urge the Government to come to the table and talk to consultants about the changes that are needed before it is too late to stop the drain of doctors from the NHS.”
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