We want patients to receive the best possible care. We work directly with physicians, clinical teams, hospitals and policymakers to design person-centred services, and involve patients and carers to help shape best practice.
Our work in numbers
Our key achievements
Our flagship Chief Registrar Programme, now in its fifth year, continued to go from strength to strength in 2020. Designed to develop doctors in training with the skills to lead and revolutionise the healthcare of the future, the programme attracted 61 participants in 2020/21 with many leading improvements related to COVID-19 in their trusts.
Our work to develop the National Endoscopy Database was instrumental in supporting quality assurance in endoscopy
We continued to assess the quality of clinical services through our accreditation programmes for endoscopy, allergy, pulmonary rehabilitation, primary immunodeficiency and liver services. In response to the pandemic, we rapidly redesigned the approach to assessments to reduce the number of assessors on site and introduced remote review and virtual interviews. Our work to develop the National Endoscopy Database was instrumental in supporting quality assurance in endoscopy. Over 400 services uploaded data to this central store of key procedural data in 2020 and we captured 1 million procedures, making it a unique and invaluable research platform.
In 2020, the National Guideline Centre published guidelines on tinnitus, perioperative care, joint replacement, low back pain and acute coronary syndromes.
We continued to deliver four national clinical audit programmes: the Falls and Fragility Fractures Audit Programme, the National Asthma and COPD Audit Programme, the National Lung Cancer Audit Programme and the National Mesothelioma Audit. In 2020 we published 13 national reports, including on adults with COPD; people with asthma in Wales; inpatient falls; pulmonary rehabilitation; lung cancer; mesothelioma and fracture liaison services.
We also worked in partnership with the Royal College of Nursing and other organisations to produce new guidance setting out best practice for modern ward rounds
We published a range of new guidance to improve care for patients, on topics including using NEWS2 to identify people at risk of deterioration, multiprofessional working on COVID-19 wards, patient safety advice when using PPE, and an updated acute care toolkit on older people living with frailty. We also worked in partnership with the Royal College of Nursing and other organisations to produce new guidance setting out best practice for modern ward rounds.
Our Patient and Carer Network (PCN) is an integral part of the RCP and our shared goal is the provision of patient-centred care. In 2020, members of the PCN contributed to RCP committees and working groups, and were involved in policy work on integration, health inequalities and research, as well as quality improvement and digital health. Representatives contributed to new guidance on modern ward rounds, ensuring the patient perspective was fully embedded. A new partnership strategy for 2021–24 sets out a vision for how patients and carers can support RCP activities to achieve coproduction and the future hospital vision.
To improve patient safety, we launched a patient-held steroid emergency card (supported by patient information), evidence-based guidance for professionals, and issued a national patient safety alert calling for organisational action. We provided tailored training for NHS organisations on structured judgement review to facilitate learning and service improvement in trusts.
We established a new working party on pharmacogenomics in the NHS, published an updated report on supporting people with eating and drinking difficulties and began to develop UK guidelines on the diagnosis of fibromyalgia syndrome.
In digital health we worked with key stakeholders including NICE, NHSX, NHS England and the MHRA. We convened a digital health group to support the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges’ response on advancing the digital health agenda. We also increased understanding of digital health through a series of webinars, lectures and articles in Commentary magazine, and guest-edited an issue of Future Healthcare Journal focusing on the digital health workforce.
We began work to reinvigorate the RCP Medical Care website to create a vibrant, updated resource to engage clinicians in healthcare and digital transformation. We will deliver this in 2021 working closely with NHSX.