The RCP has issued a briefing to MPs ahead of the Sir David Amess Summer Adjournment debate.
The Summer Adjournment debate enables MPs to discuss a wide range of issues before the House adjourns for summer recess. The RCP has issued a briefing for MPs ahead of this year’s Sir David Amess Summer Adjournment debate, focusing on:
- Workforce: workforce is the biggest limiting factor in bringing down waiting lists and delivering care sustainably. New figures published by the RCP reveal a record 52% of advertised consultant physician posts in England and Wales went unfilled in 2021. The government committed to a 15-year long-term workforce strategy earlier this year. The new prime minister must commit to delivering this by the end of 2022 as planned.
- Health inequalities: the Health Disparities White Paper is a vital opportunity to reduce the gap in healthy life expectancy between the most and least deprived. It must still be brought forward by the end of this year with clear cross-government action, including a cross-government strategy to reduce health inequalities.
- Climate change and net zero: the climate emergency is a health emergency. Efforts taken by the health service to reduce carbon emissions must be matched by government intervention. As a member of the UK Health Alliance on Climate Change (UKHACC), the RCP is clear that reaching net zero must be a priority to reduce the impact of the climate crisis on health. The clean air targets under the Environment Act provide a critical chance to reduce the health impact of toxic air and end the unequal impact of air pollution on vulnerable groups.
- Clinical research: last year the government set out its vision for embedding research in clinical practice across the UK in Saving and Improving Lives: The Future of UK Clinical Research, and an implementation plan for 2022-25 was published at the end of June. The Health and Care Act 2022 also included provisions to strengthen NHS England’s responsibilities on clinical research which were welcomed by the RCP. We urge the next prime minister to maintain a strong focus on supporting clinical research and maximising the benefits it can deliver for patients and the NHS.