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Press release: RCP responds to Health Secretary's speech on the future of healthcare

The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) responds to the speech delivered this morning at the RCP by Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, who shared his vision for the future of healthcare.

Professor Andrew Goddard, president of the Royal College of Physicians, said: “It’s good to hear the Secretary of State recognising the importance of valuing and looking after all of our health and social care workforce. He’s right that it shouldn’t take a pandemic to highlight the importance of things like decent rest facilities and food for staff but if his words are followed by action then this will, of course, be very welcome.

“The RCP has been at the forefront of arguing for using technology to transform the way in which services are provided, for the benefit of patients and the environment, but the government and the NHS must make sure that they bring everyone with them on this journey. In a recent survey, 50% of our members told us that they didn’t have access to a webcam.

“Matt Hancock wants to break down borders to support integration and collaboration but the other border is the one to the UK, which needs to be open to the thousands of people who want to come here to work for the NHS.

“We have long argued that prevention of ill-health is essential to the future sustainability of the NHS, as well as for the benefits it will bring to countless individuals. This must be a partnership but, just as we have seen an obesity strategy appear this week, in part in response to COVID-19, progress on public health needs to be led by a wider strategy to reduce health inequalities.”

Notes to editors

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About the Royal College of Physicians

Everything we do at the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) is aimed at improving patient care and reducing illness. We are patient centred and clinically led, driving improvement in the diagnosis of disease, the care of individual patients and the health of the whole population, both in the UK and around the world. Our 38,000 members work in hospitals and the community across 30 different medical specialties and range from medical students to retired doctors. The RCP is the oldest medical college in England.