The RCP has responded to the Labour Party’s 2023 National Policy Forum (NPF) consultation.
The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) has responded to the NPF consultation setting out the key policy priorities the Labour Party should consider ahead of the next election. The RCP’s submission focuses to the prevention and addressing widening health inequalities consultation covers health inequalities, workforce, clinical research and sustainability and climate change, in line with our policy and campaigns priorities 2023-2026.
The RCP submission calls for:
- The RCP, and over 230 other members of the Inequalities in Health Alliance, believe a cross-government strategy to reduce health inequalities is vital to cut widening health inequalities and prevent worsening population health. The health and social care system is currently in the unsustainable position of treating illnesses caused or worsened by the environments people live in. We need cross-departmental action on issues such as poor housing, food quality, communities, employment, racism and discrimination, transport and air pollution to tackle health inequalities, improve general levels of health and reduce avoidable pressure on the NHS.
- The NHS and social care must have a workforce that meets the needs of the population. We welcome Labour’s commitment to double the number of medical school places to 15,000. Efforts on recruitment must be complemented by robust measures to improve the retention of staff to stem the year-on-year growing number of NHS FTE vacancies.
- Investment in clinical research and ensuring clinicians who wish to take part in research have protected time to do so is also key to ensure that patients can access the best treatments.
- The climate emergency is a health emergency. Given the public health impacts of climate change, a clear and robust plan to tackle it and reach net zero is vital to prevent worsening population health.