Our role in healthcare

The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) plays a varied role across the healthcare system, interacting with the NHS at various levels.

We work closely with:

  • clinicians at all career stages – from trainee doctor to consultant – particularly with those who choose to pursue a career in one of the physician specialties
  • hospitals and other NHS providers, many of who participate in our quality improvement projects such as our clinical audits, service accreditation or via our Future Hospital Programme
  • national bodies in the NHS; we meet regularly with national leaders, and have formal channels for contributing to many areas of work.

In addition, we set physicians' exams and provide ongoing support to our members and fellows throughout their careers. We also regularly respond to public consultations on key issues that will affect our members and fellows.

Patient and Carer Network

The RCP aims to be a leader in patient and public involvement.

The Patient and Carer Network (PCN) at the RCP consists of patients, carers and members of the public from across the UK, with a wide range of backgrounds, who help us to put patients at the centre of everything we do. The PCN currently has over 60 members, and the lay chair is Elisabeth Davies.

PCN members join for 3 years, providing their skills, knowledge and experience to the RCP via a range of activities including:

  • workshops
  • membership on committees
  • projects and working parties
  • providing comments on consultation documents
  • taking part in invited service reviews.

Members also act as representatives and ambassadors, attending high-profile stakeholder, parliamentary and press events.


For more details about the PCN, or to find out when we will be recruiting for new members, please contact piu@rcplondon.ac.uk.