The RCP is at the forefront of clinical innovation, yet we also share and learn from our medical heritage, which dates back over 500 years to 1518. We want to invest in our future while promoting and preserving our history.
Our work in numbers
Our key achievements
RCP at The Spine in Liverpool opened in May 2021 when we formally commenced our occupancy of seven floors of the building on a 25-year lease from the landlord Liverpool City Council. Due to COVID-19, occupancy and activities will be limited initially, but will increase gradually over the coming months.
The Spine is a long-term investment and partnership with the city of Liverpool and will transform our reach and facilities for our members and fellows in the north. Over the next 3–4 years we aim to rebalance the RCP workforce between Liverpool and London with equal numbers of staff at each site, and to engage with initiatives to improve health and address inequalities in the north of England.
The building meets or exceeds a number of accessibility and sustainability measures. The fit-out of our seven floors is BREEAM Excellent – a rating taking into account energy efficiency, sustainability and how well it meets user needs – putting it in the top 10% of buildings. It is classed as A++ ESOS-2 energy efficient and is also on track to be awarded the Platinum WELL Standard – an audited standard of ‘wellness’ for buildings, making it one of the healthiest work and events spaces in the UK.
We are immensely grateful to all our donors who generously gave £1.75 million for RCP at The Spine (well on the way towards our target of £3 million), as well as £127k for the East, Central and Southern Africa College of Physicians.
The Spine is a long-term investment and partnership with the city of Liverpool and will transform our reach and facilities for our members and fellows in the north
The RCP’s finances were hit hard by the pandemic with our income reduced by over a quarter (£12.0 million) and our 2020 financial result a net operating deficit of £3.3 million. Costs were managed to mitigate this, including through use of the government furlough scheme for those staff unable to do their usual work. Find out more about our finances in our annual report and financial statements for 2020.
Sustainability is high on our agenda and the RCP has an important role to play in highlighting the health impacts of climate change. Aligned to this it is vital that our public advocacy is consistent with our own investments. In our bid to become zero carbon, we began divesting from fossil fuel companies over 5 years ago and in 2020 we published our new Climate Policy. By March 2021 the percentage of fossil fuel companies in the RCP investment portfolio had fallen to 0.03% and by the end of 2021 it will be down to zero.
Sustainability is high on our agenda and the RCP has an important role to play in highlighting the health impacts of climate change
We completed installation of LED lighting at the RCP at Regent’s Park offices, and maintained our Carbon Trust, ISO14001 and ESOS-2 environmental and energy saving certifications. Energy usage at our sites fell by around 15% due to over 95% of our staff working from home through the lockdowns.
We completed the rollout of our new purchase order procurement system resulting in efficiencies and financial benefits. We also carried out several significant tenders and had discussions with suppliers to mitigate COVID-19 impact and secure refunds.
We implemented a new RCP anti-fraud policy, along with a supporting fraud response plan. These set out responsibilities for the prevention of fraud, as well as the action to be taken if fraud is discovered or suspected.
Our Meeting and Events team won the Conference 2020 Awards best conference venue under 450 theatre-style category, a significant national award. In August, we put in place industry best practice COVID-19 safety measures and were awarded the COVID-safe ‘Good to Go’ quality mark. From September we cautiously reopened the RCP at Regent’s Park buildings to host exams and hybrid events.
We held our 2020 annual general meeting (AGM), uncontested presidential election and central elections virtually. This allowed our members to continue to engage during the pandemic and key decisions to be made. The resultant environmental and other resource savings led to RCP Council agreeing that future elections will remain online only and key governance meetings will have hybrid physical/virtual attendance.
A significant revision of the RCP’s bye-laws was approved at the AGM. Fundamental to the RCP’s governance, these link back to our 1518 royal charter. This was the first major revision in recent years and aimed to modernise the bye-laws where necessary, but also maintain core historic aspects. In particular, the role and responsibilities of the Board of Trustees was clarified.
Throughout the COVID-19 lockdowns, we ensured that the RCP values of taking care, learning and being collaborative were woven into our support for physicians as well as our staff working remotely while home schooling their children or caring for family members.
As some staff moved to Liverpool and space opened up at our Regent’s Park office, we began to sublet the terrace houses in St Andrews Place to develop a London ‘medical campus’, securing three new tenants in 2020.