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We’re improving health and care and leading the prevention of ill health across communities. Here are some highlights of our work in 2022.

We worked collaboratively with patients, specialist societies and other key partners on new resources to support clinical teams to deliver improvements in healthcare. Our ambitious audit and accreditation programmes focused on improving care for patients with measurable outcomes, and our new digital health strategy will support our members and their teams to exploit the significant role that digital tools will play in the future of healthcare.

Our work in numbers

Our key achievements

Audit, accreditation and service review

The Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) continued to commission us to deliver two national clinical audit programmes: the National Asthma and COPD Audit Programme (NACAP) – now the National Respiratory Audit Programme – and the Falls and Fragility Fracture Audit Programme (FFFAP). Work in both audits included support for local clinical teams to engage in quality improvement (QI) projects and maintain the momentum to sustain improvement.

The NACAP completed work to develop local capacity to deliver improvement. Nearly 100 individuals from 37 participating teams completed online training in QI skills and 14 people had training to become coaches and provide support to local respiratory teams. The FFFAP completed an improvement collaborative for clinical teams participating in its audits.

We continued to assess the quality of clinical services through our accreditation programmes for endoscopy, allergy, pulmonary rehabilitation, primary immunodeficiency and liver services. This included environmental assessments for services that were deferred in 2020–21 due to pandemic restrictions. Thirty new services registered with our programmes, and 44 achieved full accreditation for the first time.

We launched a pilot of the new Diabetes Care Accreditation Programme, working with 15 hospitals in the east of England and Wales to test the standards framework and process. The programme was developed through collaborative work with Diabetes UK and senior diabetes clinicians.

Invited reviews support healthcare organisations requiring independent external advice. We completed 10 invited reviews in 2022 and published a thematic analysis of those undertaken in 2014–21. The report offers key insights into dealing with difficult-to-manage situations in medical teams, departments and hospitals. 

Enabling improvements in care

Our flagship Chief Registrar Programme is becoming increasingly popular. Designed to support doctors with leadership development, in 2022 over 100 senior trainee doctors joined the programme and we received expressions of interest from 15 new NHS organisations.

To maintain the post-programme momentum, we launched an alumni network. It provides over 400 chief registrar alumni with ongoing opportunities to connect with their peers, continue their development and share leadership and improvement skills.

We continued to work across specialties and disciplines to influence and advise on safer healthcare through the RCP’s multidisciplinary Patient Safety Committee and by hosting the Medicines Safety Joint Working Group. Meanwhile, our Patient and Carer Network co-produced new resources to help keep patients safe.

We published a digital health strategy outlining how we will support our members and their teams to exploit the significant role that digital tools will play in the future of healthcare delivery. We also appointed a digital health clinical lead to oversee implementation of the strategy.

Our programmes saw a substantial increase in the number of clinicians undertaking projects focused on improving healthcare or the prevention of ill health.

We worked with Getting it Right First Time (GIRFT) clinical leads and the British Geriatrics Society to develop a series of webinars on alleviating pressures and highlighting best practice in the management of frailty in an acute setting.

New guidance and resources

We worked with a new editor-in-chief and over 20 advisers, specialist societies, national bodies and senior leaders to select and build content for the Medical Care – driving change website, choosing to launch at our 2023 annual conference. This newly updated online resource will support the medical workforce to deliver long-lasting improvements in healthcare and act as a hub for showcasing information and innovative practice.

New published resources included 10 updated recommendations for hospitals and integrated care systems on providing better medical pathways for acute care, and a statement on urgent and emergency care promoting a consistent and coordinated approach across medical specialties to meet the needs of patients.

We produced an acute care toolkit on providing medical care for people with a learning disability who present acutely unwell to hospital. It includes top tips and guidance on adjustments.

A special edition of the Future Healthcare Journal described future models of care to deliver improvement. To mark the 10-year anniversary of NEWS, our NEWS2 independent advisory group guided the content of a special issue of Clinical Medicine.